Gidley trying to calm captaincy nerves - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gidley trying to calm captaincy nerves

By Todd Balym 02/06/2009 05:23:00 PM Comments (0)

Kurt Gidley has turned to Origin legends Danny Buderus and Andrew Johns to calm his own nerves ahead of becoming NSW's most inexperienced skipper in 20 years.

Gidley will lead a baby Blues outfit into State of Origin battle at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night charged with guiding NSW away from a historic and dreaded fourth successive series defeat.

Making Gidley's captaincy more remarkable is the fact he will lead the Blues with just four Origin games under his belt, including one starting appearance and only 26 minutes of game time in a winning team as part of NSW's Origin III dead-rubber victory in 2007.

Not since Gavin Miller in 1989 has NSW gambled on a captain with such limited experience in State of Origin football.

Miller had played just two games and had one victory prior to leading the Blues, but had a dreaded reign as the Maroons claimed a 3-0 series sweep.

Gidley says he was initially over-awed by the challenge of captaining his state, but with Johns by his side as a NSW assistant coach and a late night phone call to predecessor Buderus in England has helped settle him into the role.

"I feel really comfortable towards this back end of the week. The start of the week I was a little nervous I suppose being captain," said Gidley.

"But I feel really comfortable with all the boys around me. There's been plenty of support there and it's been great having Belly (Craig Bellamy) here as coach as well as Joey (Johns) and I've had a chat to Bedsy (Buderus) as well.

"(Buderus) said just play the way you've been playing at club level. There's no point making these sort of teams and being named captain and trying to do something I don't normally do week to week.

"That was some good advice and something to take out there tomorrow night."

Bellamy said he has no worries about thrusting Gidley into the captaincy hot seat against Queensland veteran and Test skipper Darren Lockyer.

The NSW coach is impressed with Gidley's leadership skills at the resurgent Newcastle Knight this year and simply wants him to lead with his actions against the Maroons.

"We had a bit of chat early in the camp about what he is going to be faced with. I don't think it's a big job, he handles the captaincy job at Newcastle well," said Bellamy.

"He is such a good player but he is such a good guy too. He has handled everything really well and led the side well. He has been really impressive with putting his stamp on what we do at training and has done a good job this week."

Gidley says he will do his best to keep a level head for the duration of the game, but knows the intensity of what he's about to experience as captain is far greater than any NRL club match.

"There's a lot more at stake," he said.

"It's a huge game and huge night for myself and NSW and the rest of the boys.

"There's a lot at stake but I think I will stick to the same principles of what I do at Newcastle."

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