You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

It takes dozens of people to make a State of Origin player.

While ultimately it comes down to the player themselves and the desire to reach the top, along the way they are helped by myriad people who never get to see their names up in lights.

It's the volunteer junior trainers, the school coaches, confidants, and host families who give a push in the right direction.

Coming into the first game of the 2018 Holden State of Origin series, we asked each of the Maroons to

nominate someone – outside their family – for a special mention.

The players' answers just go to show that you never know where your helping hand will lead.

And it reveals the stellar work that happens from the grassroots right through to the elite pathways doesn't go unnoticed by those who kick on in their career.