He was the fullback during their finals campaign, and after some strong performances for his club despite their not making it all the way, Wests Tigers fullback Mitch Brown is confident that he can regain his spot.

In his first year at the Tigers, Brown has played in 20 NRL games, and excelled in the fullback position, after he was initially shifted between the fullback and wing positions at the Tigers.

It was only after first-string fullback Wade McKinnon went down with a hamstring injury, that Brown was given the chance to start in the position, in which he performed admirably.

“I achieved more in 2010 than I did in the last few years. I never played semi-finals footy before and that was an unbelievable experience,’’ Brown said.

“The most fans I had ever run out in front of before the preliminary final against St George-Illawarra were around 20,000 so to run out onto ANZ Stadium in front of 72,000 fans was just the best feeling. It is one of the reasons why you play footy.”

Brown is eager to do what he can to start in the fullback role, and he is looking forward to the challenge of jostling for the position with both Wade McKinnon and Tim Moltzen in 2011.

“It was good to play full-back during the finals and actually be working hard practising in that position at training,’’ Brown said.

“Playing in the one position enables you do the little things needed for each game and really practice them. When you are chopping and changing positions, you are practising slightly different skills at each session.

“By playing full-back, it enabled me to work hard on my catching and support play and being able to perfect it.”
Brown has been working hard on defusing the high kicks at training but says defusing bombs comes down to a matter of self belief and confidence. “If you keep saying to yourself that you are going to catch the ball no matter what, then you are more likely to do it,’’ Brown said.

“If you start thinking that the opposition is coming up and you might get hit or it is a big bomb, then you doubt yourself. You always have to be confident that you are going to take it. I guess it is hard if you drop the first ball, it plays on the back of the mind for the next one.

“At training last year, I was doing an extra 30 minutes after each session of just catching 60 bombs. I had (Assistant Coach) Peter Gentle, Benji Marshall and Robert Lui continuously putting bombs up to me.

“It made a difference during the finals in that because I did it so many times at training, it just came naturally and you put yourself into the right position.

“These days, teams have got plenty of attacking options to test a full-back out. You always have to be on your toes for the bombs, the chip kicks, the spiral kicks or the 40/20s.”

By ricky

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