Newcastle Knights' utility Tyler Randell says he’s content with his role assisting the team off the bench, even if it means missing out on game time due to the squad’s depth.
“It was always a goal of mine to be in the mix and playing some games at the start of the year,” he said on Wednesday.
Since making his debut in Round 25 last year, the 22-year-old Aberdeen Tigers junior has played two games of NRL but named in an extended squad each week.
“We have a good starting pack here and they are all pretty cemented positions, so all I can do is play well and get a game here and there and stay in the mix and help the boys out,” he said.
“I’m confident I can get a game and come off the bench and play a few different positions whether it be at hooker or in the halves, and hopefully get a start there.
Randell travelled with the team to its Round 2 and 3 matches in Queensland despite not taking the field, but was happy for the experience.
“I got to go and stay with the group, so I wasn’t too frustrated. I knew my time would come and I’d just keep staying the mix,” he said.
Maintaining an up-beat attitude throughout the uncertainty has allowed him to stay prepared and mentally ready for when he gets the call up.
“It is a hard position to be in, but I’d rather be in the mix than not at all,” he said.
“So all I can do is be patient and positive and not get down if I’m not making the team and just keep my head up and keep training well."
Despite limited game time he feels he’s contributed to the team’s early success.
“It’s four from four, you can’t beat that,” Randell said.
“It’s a really good feeling. Everyone is coming to training happy and everyone is gelling and getting along and enjoying everyone’s company.
“Taking that onto the footy field, it just seems to come off and we’re sort of on a roll."
After playing in last weekend’ NRL win against the Penrith Panthers, Randell said added energy came from victories in previous games in the Club’s lower grades.
“Penrith have really strong teams in all three grades, when we got there to watch 20s and the reserve grade and their winning, you go into your game knowing that hey too have won, so it’s really positive for the day,” he concluded.
Randell is named on an extended bench for Saturday's match against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Game day information
Saturday April 4 – Round 5 Alex McKinnon Cup
Newcastle Knights v St George Illawarra Dragons
Gates open: 5pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium