Coote packs on the weight at Panthers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Coote packs on the weight at Panthers

By Ben Horne 26/02/2010 10:34:22 PM Comments (0)

Penrith's Lachlan Coote can't shake the thought of injury from his mind, but is hoping to exorcise some demons by getting through Saturday night's NRL trial against Newcastle unscathed.

The Port Macquarie pre-season clash will be Coote's first match since June 13 last year, and just his 18th top level game - despite this being his third season of first grade football.

Coote has endured a horrific start to his NRL career, doing his knee after just five matches in 2008, and last year rupturing his shoulder after just 12 appearances.

The whippet fullback, who has added nearly 10kg to his slender frame this season, said he can't help but be haunted by the injuries.

However, he's confident he'll be feeling a lot better about things if he can finish Saturday's match feeling 100 per cent.

"Obviously it's always in the back of the mind and I haven't played since halfway through last season," he said.

"This will be my first game this week and I think once that first game gets out of the way I should be pretty confident.

"It's just so frustrating. You're getting into first grade and you're just trying to play some consistent footy, but then you're getting those injuries.

"There's nothing you can really do about it, but just push on and try and prevent them."

Coote believes his enhanced 84kg build will help provide an armour against injury and he's focussed on making the Penrith fullback jersey his own.

Panthers coach Matt Elliott has said Coote is his first-preference at No.1, giving the fullback some much-needed confidence.

"It gives me a bit of confidence that I know he's saying I'm his number one but obviously I've still got to be consistent and start playing some good footy," Coote said.

"Everyone is always looking for a spot and I want to secure that fullback spot.

"Hopefully I can try and get a good year and play the whole 26 rounds and try and secure it."

Penrith's Test representatives - Petero Civoniceva, Michael Jennings, Trent Waterhouse and Luke Lewis - will also return for the trial match against the Knights.

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