The changing face of my Brisbane

The changing face of my Brisbane

There have been a few versions of the Brisbane that I have come to know and love.

There was the city that seemed huge when I was a young kid living on the Gold Coast. It was larger than any place I knew and I spent plenty of time looking out the window of the car as I was driven to junior rugby league games and athletics carnivals. The roads were busier and wider, the suburbs were larger and the people were everywhere.

There was the Brisbane where I moved for my rugby league career in 2005. I had just turned 18.

I was never homesick. For me, Brisbane was a place of new opportunities, new sights and new friends. I was enjoying this new freedom and new opportunities.

It was the city in which I was building some of my most enduring friendships and some of my best memories.

It was the city in which I ran out for the Broncos for the first time in March 2006. We got thrashed that day – I managed to score a try but that was about the only positive from the day. It was tough.

But, six months later, we were NRL premiers. Brisbane, the premiership team. That always had a good sound to it.

And then there’s the Brisbane of today.

It’s the city in which I met my wife Kayla. It’s the city in which our daughter Willow was born.

And it’s the city in which I plan to live for many more years.

It’s a city that suits me fine.

It’s not Sydney and, for that, I’m relieved.

I’ve played for a Sydney-based club, although I lived at Wollongong and travelled to Sydney only when needed. Sydney’s got a lot going for it but it’s not my type of city.

I had to leave a lot of time to travel in Sydney – it was never easy to get across town in a hurry. The pace was always just a bit hectic. What took me 20 minutes to accomplish in Sydney took 10 minutes in Brisbane.

Brisbane is the city that seems just about right.

Sure, I’d love to have a surf beach in Moreton Bay. But the one-hour drive to the beaches isn’t a big deal.

In the years to come, this city will be transformed in a way that I haven’t known before. I’ve noticed it already with new hotels in the CBD changing the nature of the city.

Soon, a list of massive construction projects will create more opportunities to enjoy the city. It will be easier to get around. It will be a place that I will enjoy raising our family.

Amid all this change, one of the great new additions to the city would be another NRL premiership.

That’s something we’re working on right now.

Darius Boyd is captain of the Brisbane Broncos