Preston Campbell hints at retirement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Preston Campbell hints at retirement

By Wayne Heming 21/09/2010 03:27:11 PM Comments (0)

Inspirational Titans fullback Preston Campbell is set to go from possible NRL premiership winner to park footballer after the strongest indication yet his playing days are numbered.

Campbell was cautious not to utter the "r" word on Tuesday but admitted he felt his No.1 fullback jumper was now in safe hands following the emergence of excitement machine William Zillman as his likely successor.

Zillman, who has deputised for the 33 year-old wizard as he battled hamstring issues, has drawn comparisons with Queensland and Australian custodian Billy Slater, putting Campbell's mind at rest he would not leave the club vulnerable if he quit.

"He (Zillman) is definitely going to be a representative player for Queensland and Australia," tipped Campbell.

"He's got some similarities to Billy Slater, but he's got a few things of his own up his sleeve as well."

Intentionally or not, Campbell's admission he's likely to hang up his dancing boots - with or without a grand final win - has provided added incentive to claim an historic premiership.

Veteran Mat Rogers is looking for a fairytale finish after confirming his glittering playing career over.

Now Campbell - the club's first marquee signing - is hoping to go out the same way.

"I've known rugby league and the NRL now for 13 years so it's going to be a big one (decision)," said Campbell, named at fullback on Tuesday for Friday night's Suncorp Stadium qualifying final against the Roosters.

Originally recruited to play five-eighth, Campbell agreed to an SOS from coach John Cartwright to play fullback after some signings fell through.

"Since that day I've played fullback I've worried about someone coming through to be able to take over the position," he said.

"I've got no worries now, it's in good hands. You've seen Zilly (Zillman) have four great games there this season and you've got the likes of Shannon Walker who's there as well.

"The fullback jumper is definitely in good hands."

Campbell, who's played 247 NRL games since launching his career in the same position with the former Gold Coast Chargers in 1998, said he'd make a decision on his playing future sooner rather than later.

"I'm not going to make a decision right now," he said.

Asked when he might make the call, he smiled: "hopefully after we win the grand final".

"Like any decision if you wait too long, you worry about it too much.

"If I'm feeling something, I'll just come out with it."

Campbell ruled out playing in the Queensland Cup next year, suggesting he could run around with a social team on the Gold Coast instead.

"(The Queensland Cup) is like a feeder system to the NRL and I'd just feel like I'm standing in people's way there," he said.

"I don't know ... you play so long, you get the itch. I'm sure I'll get the itch because I love playing football.

"I wish I could play forever.

"Maybe I'll find a team in a social comp there (Gold Coast) somewhere."

Campbell feared his troublesome hamstring would deny him the chance to play finals football.

"My hamstring was playing up really bad but I didn't want to say that," confessed Campbell.

"I was a little bit worried I wasn't going to be able to play those games.

"Now I'm back playing with the opportunity to finish well, it (retirement) is a big thought."

Campbell was reluctant to use next February's Indigenous All Stars game at Skilled Park, of which he was one of the architects, as a farewell game to fans like Wendell Sailor did earlier this year.

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