13 years is a long time to be playing in the NRL, and with his career at a crossroads, Roosters utility Braith Anasta knows one thing for certain – he wants a new Roosters contract.

Set to play five-eighth in season 2012, his position will come under scrutiny, once Roosters recruit James Maloney joins the club in 2013.

Despite that however, Anasta is keen to remain the five-eighth for season 2013 – by playing consistently over the course of the season, so much so, that Roosters coach Brian Smith has no reason to dump him from the side, in favour of Maloney.

“If I stay here, I’ll be trying to play as good as I can this year to push myself into five-eighth next year,” Anasta, 30, said.

“I like the position. It’s where I belong. I’ve played there for so long, I’ve played my best football there. My best years have been at five-eighth. I’ve spoken to the club a little bit about it [Maloney coming in 2013] and obviously he’s a great player. But the way I see it, it’s a long season. All I can do is play the best football I can play. I want to start the season the strongest I can and play as well as I can all year.”

With the Roosters having a young core side, Anasta knows that it is a crucial year for him – but he denies that he has spoken to any other club, about the possibility of joining them.

“I haven’t looked elsewhere and I haven’t spoken to anyone else,” Anasta says of his contract negotiations. “I love the place and I don’t want to be anywhere else. I didn’t want any disruptions or any speculation about it because I wanted to nail my pre-season.

“I’ve kept in contact with the club, so hopefully we can sort something out for next year in the next couple of weeks. I don’t know. I’ll just keep meeting with them on a daily basis.”

With his spot on the line for next season, Anasta concedes that if the club wanted him to, he would step aside and let Maloney play in the pivot position in 2013 – but he will not be giving it away that easily.

“I am loving being back at six,” he says. “It’s been handed to me because we’ve lost our six. I haven’t really earned the right to play five-eighth. But I’ve done it before, I feel I’ve done a good job there and I did a good job there when I played there last year. I played the one game against Souths [last year] because Todd was out injured and we won. In the last four games when I played there, we won every time.

“This season, I’ve lost five kilos and I’m feeling really fit. I want to be around the action and trying to be the best leader I can be closer to the ball.

“Because we’ve got so much talent and so much ability, for me it’s about getting the most out of our guys and playing smart.”

With his fellow halves partner Mitchell Pearce always improving, Anasta can see the duo taking the club to a new level in 2012.

“I’d love to see Pearcey go to another level, and I want to help him do that this year,” he says.

“For me, it’s about him taking control and leading the team in that department.”

By ricky

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