Speaking from experience, Braith Anasta has advised boom Wests Tigers teammate Luke Brooks to avoid reading his own press.
More than a decade ago, Anasta was where Brooks is right now, being feted as an NRL superstar in the making with the football world at his feet.
In many respects, Anasta lived up to his billing, tasting premiership success with Canterbury, playing four Tests for Australia and helping NSW to their last State of Origin series win in 2005.
But the 32-year-old has also had to battle critics throughout his rollercoaster career with the Bulldogs, Sydney Roosters and now the Tigers in his twilight days.
“I’m used to it,” Anasta said on Wednesday.
“I’ve been playing a long time now so you’re going to cop your critics, and you’re also going to get a pat on the back every now and then.”
Brooks has been getting plenty of back slaps this season after guiding the Tigers to two straight wins, with many likening the teenager to halfback of the century Andrew Johns.
Anasta has been impressed with how Brooks has taken the accolades in his stride, but still offered a word of warning the 19-year-old.
“Seeing him getting the best out of his football, I’ve been pretty proud of him actually,” Anasta said.
“It’s been a big couple of weeks for him. He’s had a lot of pressure on him. There’s been a lot of media beat-up and high expectations on him and I think he’s handled himself with a lot of class and dignity.
“He just goes about his business and he seems to be handling the games quite well.
“For him, it’s about just doing what he does best. The reason he got to the position he’s in is because he’s played good throughout the grades and he’s a natural talent.
“So don’t read into it too much and just don’t read the papers too much.”