Latrell Mitchell isn't dwelling on his NSW dumping.
Latrell Mitchell isn't dwelling on his NSW dumping.

Latrell puts fatherhood before footy

As he prepares to watch State of Origin II from the sidelines, you could forgive Latrell Mitchell for worrying about the constant speculation over his career. But the Roosters superstar has better things to think about.

He also blocked out reports of an $11 million offer from the Canterbury Bulldogs.

The next few days are all about being a father, instead of a footballer.

Rugby league is taking a back seat as the Sydney Roosters superstar celebrates the second birthday of his daughter, Inala.

"I have my little one's birthday party," he says. "I'm turning my phone off for the weekend and chilling with my family and my baby."

It will be a welcome break from arguably the most tumultuous period of Mitchell's short career.

The bonus from Blues coach Brad Fittler dumping him is being home for Inala's birthday.

She means the world to him and it's what drives him to be successful.

As for his future, the Roosters centre is totally oblivious to any outside interest from rival clubs, let alone unconfirmed rumours of a 10-year offer from the Bulldogs.

A few weeks earlier he was supposed to be joining South Sydney.

In his first interview since being dumped for Sunday night's Origin game in Perth, Mitchell declared there was no truth to reports of an $11 million offer from Canterbury.

"I haven't heard anything about it," he said. "I have a manager and we've both heard nothing.

"I haven't even thought about going anywhere."

A break from the pressure of Origin could even do some good. Image: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
A break from the pressure of Origin could even do some good. Image: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

 

The NRL's highest pointscorer this season is under contract until the end of 2020.

Come November, he can talk to rival clubs.

Mitchell says he will be guided by his manager, Wayde Rushton, who also looks after Newcastle Knights champion Kalyn Ponga.

But he insists it's not on his mind right now.

"All I have to do is play footy and that's what I'm focused on," he said. "Come November, we'll worry about it then. It comes down to me just playing good footy.

"They've been a few things in the media but my job is to focus on the Roosters and enjoy football. Nothing else."

As we keep talking you get the impression Mitchell desperately wants to stay at the Roosters as long as the money is right.

The name of club legend Anthony Minichiello comes up.

 

Mitchell with daughter, Inala, has already achieved so much.
Mitchell with daughter, Inala, has already achieved so much.

 

"He's a one-club player and a legend," Mitchell said. "I'd like to do the same thing.

"I love the club. I love being here and they've treated me really well.

"The eastern suburbs is my home. I've bought a beautiful house. I got my family to move here and look after me.

"If there are offers we'll talk but that's my manager's job, not mine right now."

The support network at the Roosters from chairman Nick Politis, coach Trent Robinson and the leadership group is why he would be reluctant to move elsewhere.

 

Mitchell knows he’s got it good at the Roosters. Image: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Mitchell knows he’s got it good at the Roosters. Image: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

 

He mentions all the big-name players.

"Aubo (Mitch Aubusson) has been a big help to me, he said. "We've had a few breakfasts together just to chat. It keeps me sane with all the other stuff going on. He's been a great mentor.

"Coops (Cooper Cronk) came in last year and he's the same.

"All the older players … Jared (Waerea-Hargreaves), Friendy (Jake Friend) and Boydo (Boyd Cordner) have been there, done that.

"It's awesome to have those leaders and their support.

"They're the people you want to play alongside every week. They go by action, not words.

"I love having them on my side."

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