After more than 12 years performing on the NRL stage, Jeremy Smith will soon have time to reflect on the highlights and special moments throughout his celebrated career.
His final home game with the Newcastle Knights will be played this Sunday on the annual Old Boys Day at Hunter Stadium.
“I’m excited, I certainly like playing on Old Boys Day and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“It’s a great moment for all the young boys to run out in front of all the past players who have done so well for the Club.”
The hardworking forward says the opportunity to represent the Newcastle Knights has meant everything to him.
“I have enjoyed pulling on the jersey every time," he said.
“Running out to the crowd going berserk before kick it gives me goosebumps every time I do it.
“It means a lot and I will certainly treasure it.”
While he’s just a matter of weeks away from official retirement, he remains focused on the Knights’ most immediate challenge, the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
“When it’s all said and done, I will definitely sit back will be able to reflect on what I have achieved in the game,” he said.
“At the moment we have Souths this week and they have a massive pack.
“It’s the sheer size of them. They are big all over the park and are really physical.
“It’s going to be a tough game for us.
“Hopefully they come up here and we can still stick it to them.”
There is then one more final round for the Knights to be played against the St George Illawarra Dragons, one of Smith’s former Clubs.
“We have the Dragons the week after that and will have plenty of time to reflect when it’s all done,” he said.
“It will be nice (to play the Dragons), I was fortunate enough to win a premiership down there and it was a great team to play for, so I will definitely be cherishing that too.”
While he is known for showing immense enthusiasm, passion and resilience as a player in every game he dons the red and blue, he knows his retirement from the game he loves is necessary.
“The time is right for me to retire now and I am happy with the decision I have made,’ he said.
“When it comes to around November and the time to start pre-season, I might think about football, other than that, I’m happy with what I have done in the game.”
Most of all the vibrant family man looks forward to spending time with his wife Jody, and four children.
“I have missed a lot over the 12-13 years that I have been playing football,” he said.
“I will definitely give time back to the kids and watch them grow up.”