Justin Gossage was still coming to terms with his last minute call-up to the NSW Men’s 30s touch football team for their State of Origin series against rivals Queensland.
The Mudgee Mudcrabs mixed open captain-coach thought his shot at wearing the sky blue was over, but that was until Thursday night.
“I got a phone call from the coach [Jason Martin] to say I was in,” Gossage said.
“It is a bit of a shock. It has not really sunk in.
“I got picked in the squad but missed out but to get the phone call to say you’re now playing… It is definitely a thrill.”
Gossage does not have much time to dwell on his selection as he had his only training session with the team on Sunday before flying to Brisbane for the series, which is played on Friday and Saturday in Redcliffe.
He knows it will be a challenge but he is ready for it.
“I know a couple of the [NSW] players having played with them before. I don’t know much about Queensland but they will be a pretty hot, good side,” he said.
It has been “a long time coming” for Gossage who has been rewarded for the hundreds of hours he has committed to the sport.
He travels to Sydney every Friday between August and November to play in the Vawdon Cup, touch football’s premier weekly competition.
Gossage also plays in the National Touch League every year for Sydney Mets.
There have been a lot of sacrifices and Gossage knows what that means.
"I have lot of people to thank. The most important is my family, [wife] Megan and my mum [Trish], they have supported me all the way and help me get to this level."Justin Gossage
NSW will play Queensland across 14 divisions in touch football’s version of the iconic sporting rivalry.