‘Not everything is about footy’: The question that brought Reece Walsh to tears

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Broncos superstar Reece Walsh has been brought to tears as he discussed the impact his two-year-old daughter has had on his young career.

Walsh joined the Broncos in the off-season after the Warriors granted him a release on compassionate grounds with the the 21-year-old not wanting to be away from his daughter Leila.

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Now Walsh and the Broncos will clash in the preliminary final in a full circle moment.

Speaking to reporters at a media event on Monday, Walsh became emotional when asked about fatherhood and his daughter Leila.

“She has been awesome for me. She calms me down,” Walsh said.

“Three or four days before the (Storm) game I was just stressing and just having her around it brings everything back to reality.

“She is pretty awesome. I get emotional about it.”

Walsh said his daughter helped give him perspective that there is more to life than rugby league.

“Not everything is about footy and a job,” he said.

“When I am in the facility I am the footy player.

“When I step out and see my little one and my family I am dad.

“It is pretty awesome. I am still so young but I feel if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be in this position.

“She is the best girl in the world. She keeps me grounded too.”

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald on the weekend, Warriors chief executive Cameron George opened up on Walsh’s departure from the club.

“I had a feeling I knew what was coming (with his release request). I understood Reece’s reasons, and we wanted him to be a dad,” George said.

“Being separated from his daughter would have been heart-wrenching for him. He’s a good kid. But we had to do it on the proviso we had a replacement. He understood that and they knew he just couldn’t walk out.

“So I said to him, ‘where do you want to go?’ I was half expecting him to say the Dolphins. But he said, ‘I want to go to the Broncos. I want to go back home to them’.”

Walsh for his part said it was a difficult decision to leave and that he would be forever grateful to the Warriors for the role they played in his career.

“I don’t regret (leaving), but it was definitely hard to leave,” he said.

 “They (the Warriors) gave me an opportunity in the NRL, and as a kid, all I wanted to do was play NRL. They gave that to me.

“It was tough to leave, but looking back now, where the two clubs are … we wouldn’t take it back for anything.”

Originally published as ‘Not everything is about footy’: The question that brought Broncos superstar Reece Walsh to tears

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