With the advice from two very classy fullbacks, Barba is looking to put that into effect, starting with the Bulldogs trial against the Dragons this week.
”I got to learn a lot off ‘Presto’ and Matty,” Barba said yesterday.
”They talked about being relaxed and patient on the field, and said that if you played like that things would happen for you. It must work for them because they look relaxed and comfortable on the field and they do so well.
”Matty said it was about not putting too much pressure on yourself to do things, and waiting for the opportunities instead of trying to force it. I roomed with Scott Prince and I listened to everything he had to say as well.”
For Barba, he believes that a connection between fullback and halfback is critical, and thus, he will be looking to formulate one with new Bulldogs halfback Trent Hodkinson, similar to the connection that Bowen and Jonathon Thurston have at the Cowboys.
”I got to watch Matty and ‘JT’ at training, and it comes down to communication with them,” Barba said.
”Until you watch them from close range, you don’t realise how much Matty is talking to JT the whole time.
”I’ll try a bit of that this Friday with Trent. I’ll try and keep the communication open as much as I can, and let him know where I am and what I’m doing. Hopefully, we can start a good partnership and Kev [Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore] can see that and give me a chance to work with him during the year.”
In light of other players waiting in the wings to play fullback, Barba knows that a few solid performances in the Dogs remaining trials, and he will be well on his way to making the spot his own.
”It’s time for me to reach my potential,” Barba, 21, said.
”I’ve been waiting in the wings and it’s my turn to shine. It all comes down to how I play this week and, if I get a chance, next week in the trials.”