When Jeremy Smith runs out for Old Boys Day next weekend, he will pass through a guard of honour that will include plenty of Club legends from over the years.
It’s safe to say that in his own career Smith has demonstrated time and again the toughness and resilience that these Club legends instilled in the fabric of the Newcastle Knights.
With his footballing days coming to a close at the end of this season, his dedication to the cause means he will well and truly deserve his place in the guard of honour at the next Old Boys Day in 2017.
“It will be great for him to finish off his career with a couple of home games, and with a week off training it’s given his body some sort of chance to freshen up,” head coach Nathan Brown said of the 36-year-old lock.
“With this week and Old Boys Day next week, it will be two good games for him to go out on, so hopefully his body is as good as we can get it at this stage.”
With so many young players earning their stripes at the Club this season, Brown believes that Smith’s presence has been invaluable to their learning process.
“Due to his toughness, he’s managed to take part in more games and probably play longer periods of time in games than what he’s had to play in previous years as well,” Brown explained.
“It gives the younger guys a good education on what a body can do under difficult circumstances.”
If every rookie at the Knights this season can inherit some of the attributes that has made Smith a stalwart of the game for the past twelve years, the Knights will be in good stead moving forward.
“There would have been plenty of lesser characters that would have not been able to play games that Jeremy has played in this year,” Brown said.
“To see him actually get on the field sometimes and train, and to be able to play with his body, I think our kids can take a lot out of it.”
After a week off due to a calf injury, Smith returns to the starting line-up this weekend against the Gold Coast Titans.