New baby daughter makes Sutton a new man

For John Sutton, he has faced the brunt of all criticism from Souths fans and other NRL fans, as he has never really lived up to the potential that he had shown, at the start of the career.

With the odd good game here and there in past seasons, it is his Sutton’s new responsibilities off the field, that have the potential to make him a better player and understand his responsibilities on the field also.

Named as one of Souths five captains, Sutton is using his 10-month old daughter Pippa, as the motivation to play better.

“She’s the best thing that has ever happened to me,” the proud father said this week. “And I reckon it is going to help with my footy.”

Pippi has already pulled Sutton’s party-boy lifestyle into line – with nights out now replaced with long nights at home.

“It’s been pretty tough over the pre-season with all the sleepless nights and that but she is sleeping pretty good now,” he said.

“There is not as much time to party as I used to but I love it.”

For Sutton, he sees this new chapter of his personal life, as a chance to create one on the field also.

“I couldn’t believe it when Madge (new coach Michael Maguire) told me,” he said.

The first people he wanted to tell were his parents.

“I was having dinner with mum and dad that night and I told them that I’d been named as one of the captains, you couldn’t wipe the smile off their faces,” he continued. “They were stoked.

“They read the stuff said about me but they tell me not to worry about.

“They say they don’t care and that it doesn’t bother them but whenever I have a good game mum makes sure she tells me.”

At 27 years old, Sutton knows that this now make or break time, and he has to perform consistently for Souths, particularly with no more Chris Sandow at the club, following his departure to the Eels.

“The consistency isn’t where it should be and I know that.

“That is one thing I need to improve.

“And I need to take the line on and steer the boys around the field … I know I have that ability and I’m planning to have a good year.

“I’m 27 now and this is the most confident I have ever been,” he said.

“I have been around a while but this pre-season has built my confidence up heaps.

“Being told I’m one of the captains at the club makes me want to strive to do my best.”

Aggressiveness in his game is something Sutton is also striving for and aiming to pull off.

“Probably. You know, the more aggressive you are the more fear you put into the other team.

“But I’m not putting pressure on myself.

“The pre-season has been really good to me and Madge has been good, pushing us really hard.”

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