Ben Smith

He was being courted by rival clubs, but Eels club stalwart and long-serving player Ben Smith, officially re-signing a 2-year deal with the Parramatta Eels.

The decision will see Smith remain a one-club man, and since he made his debut 9 years ago in 2003, the centre-come-back-rower, has turned into one of the Eels most consistent forwards.

Eels coach Stephen Kearney sees the re-signing as a boost for the Eels club, both on and off the field.

“Ben’s a fine example of the type of player we want at this Club,” Kearney said.

“He’s a huge part of the culture we’re building here and that’s thanks to his positive attitude and his work ethic.

“On and off the field he is someone our guys look up to and his presence has a big effect on the group – his leadership is a major part of what makes him such a valuable player.”

The Werris Creek junior is currently injured, having suffered a torn pectoral muscle during the pre-season trials – but he was excited to commit his future to the Eels, despite their difficult start to 2012.

“It’s hard for people to see at the moment due to our results but there’s something really special being built here and I’m just glad I can be part of it,” Smith said.

“I love the Club and I’ve been here my whole career, so I’ve got some great memories growing up playing footy here… but what I’m most excited about are the next couple of years.

“I wouldn’t be re-signing if I didn’t believe in what Steve is doing and the plan we’ve got.

“We’re all frustrated with our start to the season but I know we’ll come out the other end a better side, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

By ricky

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