- Latrell Mitchell lifted the lid on his horror season
- He was accused of benefiting from “preferential treatment”
- Says he struggled to deal with pressure at Souths
Latrell Mitchell has opened up about the mental health woes of South Sydney’s horror 2023 season, with the football superstar addressing rumors he received “preferential treatment” from senior officials.
In a candid interview with former Bunnies teammate Josh Mansour, Mitchel admitted the reports “shook me” and that he “pretended to be happy” during a harrowing trial with police ACT.
The fullback has spoken openly about his wrongful arrest alongside new teammate Jack Wighton, with the pair now considering civil action, as well as Sam Burgess’ abrupt exit from the Rabbitohs.
“Everything that happened, you say it didn’t affect you as a person,” Mitchell said when asked about Burgess’ departure.
“It shook me, I tell you what,” Mitchell said.
Latrell Mitchell opened his nightmare season with the South Sydney Rabbitohs
The fullback couldn’t stop the Bunnies’ slide and succumbed to the pressure
“But it’s like that. I’m done with this now. It starts to seep into your personal life and your football. If you’re unhappy off the field, you’ll never perform well on it.
“A lot of this has rippled through all of our lives and everything that happened just happened. True colors come out when pressure is applied. These are not losses, they are lessons and I will keep them until 2024.
After a strong start to the campaign, Mitchell admitted the pressure placed on him had had a negative impact, particularly amid a dip in form following injury and he claimed “we didn’t take care of me as I should have been” after suffering a calf strain in the NSW Origin camp.
“We started really well, we were unstoppable and the (Rabbitohs) defense was brilliant,” Mitchell said.
“I got injured coming into the NSW camp, and it was just tough for me to come back and try to get that form back.
“Ten weeks (injured) was too long, I wasn’t treated like I should have been, but that’s how it is. I just couldn’t find that tick.
He was also accused of favoritism and was rocked by the departure of Sam Burgess.
Mitchell hopes to put 2023 behind him and enjoy a strong 2024 campaign
“I was trying to continue that and (the narrative) that ‘oh, it’s all good, Latrell is back, we’ll be right, we’ll win again,’ the pressure got to me a little bit. Other than that, I think we just lost that motivation and that connection and that confidence.
Reflecting on his legal ordeal, Mitchell added: “It’s been a long 10 months, it’s just dragged on. I always knew I was innocent, I was just trying to prove that I was a good person and trying to pretend to be happy for 10 months was difficult. I’m glad it’s over…
“(With) Footy it was a big thing. Obviously, trying to perform every day, showing up and performing knowing that it’s always hanging over your head…”