Ballin article

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I'll bide my time, says Ballin

John Greco


PATIENT Manly hooker Matt Ballin has admitted he's excited at the opportunity of tying down the No. 9 jersey on a permanent basis next year.

The talented 23-year-old, who hadn't played a first grade game before 2007, was one of the Sea Eagles' most consistent players during the opening three months of the season.

His strong displays were one of many highlights as Manly surged to the top of the NRL ladder.

But the Kingaroy junior has found himself back in Premier League in recent weeks after picking up a groin injury against the Panthers in Round 12.

With current rake Michael Monaghan off to play with Warrington in the UK Super League in 2008, Ballin recognises the opportunity to make himself a permanent fixture in the top grade next year.

``It's definitely what I'm looking towards,'' he said last night.

``Monnas leaving certainly opens up a chance for me.

``I really want to cement my spot in first grade.

``I got a taste this year and I loved it.

``There's going to be a spot there but I have to be playing well.

``I just have to wait for my chance and when the opportunity's there I have to take it.

``It's definitely my goal.''

While admitting he is frustrated at not being part of the Sea Eagles' top 17 at present, the personal fitness trainer said his game was still developing.

``If you told me at the start of the year I would have played nine first grade games by now I would have been happy,'' admitted Ballin, who has one year left on his Manly contract.

``It's disappointing being back in Premier League but there's players (in first grade) who are more experienced.

``There's still a few things in my game I need to work on.

``I just have to bide my time and maybe the chance will come to go back up.''

Ballin and his Premier League teammates take on the Newtown Jets in a must-win clash at Brookvale Oval this afternoon.
First Grader
I wish he would stop whinging and just get on with playing footy in the grade he's told to play!
I wish he would stop whinging and just get on with playing footy in the grade he's told to play!

haha.. he just loves to talk to the media... never gives it a miss..... :bdh:

in all seriousness... good on him.. Des obviously told him you have first go at it next season.. he knows he has a bit to learn then its all his.
What's he got to learn ?
He could teach a few in the current top 17 a thing or two. He should start with the captain.
He's copping it a lot better than I would in that situation, that's for sure.
Good on ya Matty.

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