Friends of Johnny Bigg
Friends of Johnny Bigg

2017 was a bit of a rollercoaster year for you, what are you looking forward to for 2018?

This year l am looking forward to getting back out on the field and playing consistent football. I broke my arm at the end of the year and it wasn’t ideal, but I’m confident with how my recovery is going at the moment. I am moving forward and am really confident for the 2018 season.

How did breaking your arm last year affect you? What would be your advice to someone who is going through a similar setback?

I definitely think just keep at it and you can’t dwell on it. I guess it depends on the type of injury, for a broken bone you can always stick at it and it will always get better. Keep faithful to your goal no matter what you’re doing, l think that’s the main thing.

Your career involves a lot of travel; do you have a favourite location you’ve travelled to for work?

I don’t really have a favourite place in particular, but as a team we do travel down to Sydney a lot. We usually fly in one afternoon, play the next and fly out again the next morning so it’s pretty quick where we go. But it’s not too bad to visit all these different spots. We travelled over to New Zealand and we were in Papua New Guinea at the start of the year for trials. It was great to get over there and see how much football means to them there. That has probably been one of the best football travel destinations so far for me.

How would you describe your style and approach to fashion?

I think my sense of style is getting better. When I first started I was hopeless, I didn’t know what to wear with what. I still like kicking around in thongs and boardies and singlets but my dress sense is getting a lot better.

Friends of Johnny Bigg

Do you share style tips with your team mates?

No way! I don’t give anyone any tips, I’m no fashion connoisseur. They’re all trendy dudes and some of them wear fashionable clothes so it’s not that much of a surprise to see them dressed up. We go out for lunch and coffees outside of training so we don’t always see each other in training gear.

Health and fitness are obviously very important for your career, what are your top tips for staying fit?

Any type of exercise each day is good. I think half an hour to an hour a day can really benefit your body’s functionality. On the other side of that is what you actually eat and put into your body. Everyone has different ways around it but I think making sure you exercise and getting your body moving is the best way to stay fit. There are days where I don’t want to train but I still have to. If you get the mindset that you actually want to train then you’ll find it enjoyable after a while. It will become more fun than a chore.

Can I ask what the tattoo on your finger means?

That’s the postcode where I grew up, Gerringong down the South Coast of NSW. It’s a great spot down there and it’s always good to go back there. My mum and dad still live there and I don’t get to go down there too often living in Brisbane but when I do it’s always good to catch up with my mates.

What are your favourite things to do in your downtime?

I used to play golf but I don’t play too much anymore because I have a 2 year old son which l love to spend time with. Apart from him I try and relax and recover from training days. I like to catch up with the boys, go to the movies and go out to to eat.
Friends of Johnny Bigg
Friends of Johnny Bigg

You moved to Melbourne this year, how has that been?

It’s amazing in Melbourne, I wish I had moved earlier. I love it here, I live in Oakley which is about 15 minutes away from where I play. My wife and kids they love it too, so it made it heaps easier for me.

What do you love about playing for the Storm, any goals you’ve set for the team this year?

It’s a great club and it’s good to be a part of it. My main goal is to try and win the premiership.

Your footy career involves a lot of travel; do you have a favourite location you’ve travelled to for work or leisure?

Probably Brisbane is the best place to play at Suncorp Stadium as it is always a good atmosphere there. But then, playing here in Melbourne, there are some big crowds every week so it’s good too.

Fiji was where we got married and it is nice, but me and my wife love going back to Samoa. We get a week off in our second bye and I think we’re going back to Samoa for the week.

Do you have any travel or packing tips for the Johnny Bigg guy?

Everything in my suitcase is Johnny Bigg.

How would you describe your style and approach to fashion?

My style is more relaxed and casual. I’ve been wearing a Johnny Bigg tracksuit a lot lately as it is stylish and super comfortable. My wife does have a say sometimes in what I wear as she will tell me when something doesn’t go together, and it’s like okay then.

Friends of Johnny Bigg

What would you say is the best advice you have received in terms of following your dreams.

Go hard. If you work hard enough, if you want it bad enough and you put the work in then you’ll get it. Just work hard and never give up.

Health and fitness are obviously very important to your lifestyle, what are your top tips for staying fit now you are out of the game?

Just push yourself. Try and motivate yourself to do it. I changed my diet when I got to Melbourne and the training really helped me.

I am happier so it was easier to lose the weight. I used to hate doing weights, but all of the sudden I found a love for it. I used to skip weights when I was Sydney, I don’t mind it now.

What are your favourite things to do in your downtime?

Probably just hanging out with my boys, taking them to the shops, buying them a couple of toys and then they’re happy. I don’t think my older one is into footy, but the second one he likes it. He loves kicking the ball around.

Friends of Johnny Bigg
Friends of Johnny Bigg

You announced your retirement this year, what are you looking forward to in 2018, your first year out of the game?

I decided this year was time to hang up my boots. I’ve been out of training and playing footy for a couple months now and it still feels weird but I’m enjoying it.

No sleep in’s just yet. With two little ones running around, I have to get up early. But those are the little things that I’ve missed out on most because my career, so it’s nice to catch up a little. I’m just enjoying a bit of down time and not having so much demand. Playing footy l was waking up at 5:30, leaving the house by 6 and coming home about 5, that’s if l wasn’t travelling for a game.

You’ve been doing a lot of work with the Samoan community?

Yes, l was in Queensland recently with the under 25’s Samoan team that played in the Commonwealth Games and secured Bronze. I’ve really been getting involved in coaching, I’m on the coaching staff for the Samoan Team for the Pacific Test for when we take on Fiji. I’m also doing a lot of work with troubled kids at the Juvenile Centre. That’s one of my passions, working with young children who need a bit of help.

What do you think you will miss most about playing football? What are your plans for keeping involved in the game?

I think I’ll miss the friendship and the comradery with the boys. Football has been in my life for so long, it’s my family. Having a place where you can go, away from home. It’s a balance and that’s what I’m going to miss and of course playing and the fans, the supporters.

Are you going to travel internationally this year?

I hope l will get the opportunity to travel internationally this year; I have a meeting at the Rugby League Corporation in Hawaii in July. They want me to come down as a consultant and trainer, which is something that l am looking forward to doing and seeing what the fuss is about over there.

Friends of Johnny Bigg

How would you describe your style and approach to fashion?

I’m pretty casual and easy going when it comes to style. Give me an outfit and I’ll put it on and find a way to make it my own.

Health and fitness are obviously very important to your lifestyle, what are your top tips for staying fit now you are out of the game?

Recently I’ve been training with my eldest boy. We do fitness on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and I need to do that so I don’t blow out in retirement. That’s probably the one thing on my priority list, is to train twice a week and watch what I eat. No carbs!

What are your favourite things to do in your downtime, do you have any hobbies or passions that you are excited to spend some more time doing?

Training and coaching, giving back to the little kids that aren’t my own. I like to play basketball here and there. My little girl plays netball, I don’t know that much but I know how the game works. No stepping and no running with the ball!