Veteran workhorse Jeremy Smith is thrilled to finish what’s set to be a successful 12-year career as a Newcastle Knight.
The 35-year old, who has spent stints at the Melbourne Storm, St George Illawarra Dragons and Cronulla Sharks couldn’t think of a better place to draw a close to his long and noteworthy career.
“It’s definitely special, it’s a great Club to be a part of,” he told Knights TV.
"To be able to finish my career here, I’m happy I’m doing it in Newcastle."
His young family and wife Jody are also pleased to have the opportunity to remain in Newcastle.
“If I was to move I would have had to take them out of school and away from their friends, so for them they were pretty excited to stay in Newcastle.
“It’s a great town and you can’t ask for a better place to live.”
Smith has been forced off the field after he suffered a sternum injury and is itching to get back out there.
“It’s just one of those injuries that you just have to let heal,” he said.
“You can’t do too much about it. I’ve still been training with the boys, but just no contact.
“It’s still a bit sore now, I did it against the Tigers (Round 10), so this will be the third game now.
“I’m looking to come back against the Sharks but I will have to do some contact next week if I’m going to be any chance of playing and I’ll see how I pull up.”
While the bye can grant a rest, the Knights have been grinding away on the training field working on much needed improvements.
“We have been doing a lot of defensive work. We have been leaking a lot of points lately,” he said.
“It’s one place we need to start on….and it’s what we need to do to get our season back on track.”
With the Club experiencing a slump in form, the seasoned veteran says it’s important for the team to bond together in order to get through tough times.
“You just have to stick together as a team. It’s hard for us as well as the fans week in week out turning up,” he said.
“You have to take some ownership on your own performance and really assess yourself hard.
“The way we have been playing the last few weeks, we haven’t reached our standards.
“Hard work on the paddock is certainly going to get us a long way to getting out of this slump.”
Smith holds strong hope of making a return to the field against his former club, the Cronulla Sharks, when the side faces them in the Round 15 at Hunter Stadium.
“They play a really good and exciting brand of footy,” he said.
“We’ll have to be on our game to be able to shut their key players down.
“It just comes back down to our defence.
“If we can hold them to very little - it’s simple to say, but doing it is another thing - if we can shut down their key playmakers it will go a long way to winning that game.
“We trained all off-season and put in the hard work and hopefully it’s just around the corner.”