For Tim Smith, the start of his NRL career was sweet, after he won the Dally M Rookie of the Year award whilst playing for the Parramatta Eels.
Since that year however, he has struggled to find his feet both in the NRL, and in his ESL stints, hence the reason why he is on last-chance saloon with the Sharks.
As a result, the most crucial year in the career of the 26-year old Smith begins now, as he proves to both the Sharks and Sharks coach Shane Flanagan that he is a part of the future of the club going forward.
“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.”
With Sharks fans eager to see an adequate number 7 take the reigns and quickly, Smith re-assures the Sharks fans that that is exactly what he plans to do.
“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.”
With Smith expected to start at fullback, it will be new recruit Wade Graham that will also want to make an impression, as the two look to reverse the Sharks fortunes of the last few years.
“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.”