Barrett unfazed by Kogarah return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barrett unfazed by Kogarah return

By Steve Jancetic and David Beniuk 24/03/2009 08:22:12 PM Comments (0)

Returning to WIN Jubilee Oval as public enemy No.1 will be nothing new to Cronulla recruit Trent Barrett.

After all, he's heard it all before.

"They'll give it to me, there's no doubt about that," Barrett said of the reception he was expecting from the St George Illawarra faithful on Sunday afternoon.

"But I've had that before. They used to give it to me when I played for them, so it's going to be no different."

Sunday's match-up between the Dragons and the Sharks is so much more than a former player going up against his old club.

Barrett was the Dragons.

During his 11 years with the club - the first three with the Illawarra Steelers and the final eight with the joint venture - Barrett was the face of the club.

He was their skipper, their key playmaker, their spokesman.

But he was also the easy target, with the classy five-eighth often painted as the scapegoat for the Dragons lack of premiership success.

Even Barrett admits he should have won at least one premiership in the red and white, either in the heartbreaking decider of 1999 or in 2005, when the Dragons roster was the envy of every other club in the competition.

It wasn't to be however, and after two years with Wigan in the Super League, Barrett says he has no regrets about his move to the Dragons' most bitter rival.

"I thought about (coming back to the Dragons), and there was an opportunity to go back there, but I think once you leave a place and move on, I would have been going back for the wrong reasons, probably going back for my mates I guess," he said.

"I'm really happy with the decision I made, I'm happy here, we've got a good club and a good coach and I think I've fitted in well so there's certainly no regrets.

"It won't be really weird (playing against the Dragons), lots of players play against their old club so it's not anything new.

"But being there for so long I suppose and turning up at Kogarah and seeing so many familiar faces I suppose ... it's something that doesn't daunt me, I'm looking forward to going back there.

"I'm certainly not going to put any more pressure on myself going into this game. I've been away from there for three years, I'll just treat it as any other game that I'd really like to win."

Having been on the other side for so long, Barrett knows just how hard winning the local derby will be.

Injury and suspension woes won't help the Sharks' cause, and neither will the influence of new Dragons coach Wayne Bennett.

"I think he's brought instant respect to the club," Barrett said of Bennett.

"Even before a ball was kicked he brings a bit of an aura with him, he's a supercoach and his record proves it.

"They (local derbies) were good games, we always looked forward to playing Cronulla and it's exactly the same here, the boys have a lot of passion for that.

"I guess Cronulla is said to be the poor man of the two (but) certainly there's still only two points available."

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