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Smith out to prove himself at Sharks

David Beniuk 10/02/2011 04:53:48 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla halfback Tim Smith is under no illusion he still needs to prove himself at the NRL club and earn a new contract the hard way.

Dally M rookie of the year in 2005, Smith returned to the NRL last year after a stint in England but struggled to rediscover the form of his stunning debut season with former club Parramatta.

The 26-year-old is among half the Sharks top squad off-contract at the end of 2011 and is yet to start talks with the club about extending his stay.

Smith will begin his campaign to convince coach Shane Flanagan he is part of the club's future in Friday night's trial against Manly at Brookvale Oval.

"I'm not the young bloke at training any more so I've sort of got to pick it up now and have a go," Smith told AAP on Thursday.

"I'm pretty confident that I've put the hard work in, that I can do it.

"I'll have to definitely prove myself and I'm happy to do that.

"Flanno sat me down before the pre-season even started so I know where I stand and what I have to do to get another contract or even just to keep my spot in the side."

Sharks fans are desperate for Smith to rediscover the magic, and the No.7 is keen to reassure them he's doing his best to find it again.

"Of course I wouldn't mind getting that back but, when you look back, I was very lucky to play in such a very good side as well," he said of his debut season.

"Everyone wants to play their best and you've just got to take the simple steps to get back to where you're playing at your best.

"I'll just hopefully slowly work my way up and just work on what I'm doing and just play off the back of our forward pack, which is pretty good I reckon."

Smith will partner young gun Albert Kelly in the Sharks' second half line-up against the Sea Eagles.

But it will be his combination with new signing Wade Graham, who will miss the trail with a minor hamstring injury, that will be the key to Cronulla overcoming their favouritism for the wooden spoon in 2011.

"He's only a young bloke but he holds himself pretty well," Smith said.

"He's a very confident kid and I think he's going to be a big help for us."

In other trials on Friday night, former Canterbury winger Matt Utai will line up in the centres for the Wests Tigers when they take on North Queensland in Townsville.

The Cowboys line-up includes ex-Sydney Roosters utility Ben Jones at five-eighth.

And Melbourne will unleash giant winger Elijah Niko on Queensland clubs Brisbane Easts and Ipswich at a trial in Brisbane.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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