Orford chasing new goals By Chris Wilson | February 01, 2009 http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/sport/nrl/story/0,26799,24990176-5006066,00.html MANLY skipper Matt Orford has scratched playing representative football from his list of goals despite claiming he can improve on his Dally M medal-winning form from last year. Orford has revealed the extent of the groin injury that plagued him in 2008, the premiership-winning halfback tallying more pain-killing injections than his 24 Dally M votes. Orford has pledged to take his game "to the next level'' this year, with off-season surgery rebuilding confidence in his running game. But the off-contract star has also accepted he may never get the chance at representative level. Despite being crowned the NRL's player of the year and leading Manly to their first title since 1987, Orford was again snubbed by state and national selectors last year. While Orford said he would always remain available for selection, the 30-year-old conceded rep footy was no longer a driving ambition. "I thought I probably gave it my best shot last year, staked my claim,'' he said. "Since Joey (Andrew Johns) retired from the game, we've had a few halves, but (selectors) opted for youth and you can never knock that. "If I was ever to be picked for rep footy I'd take it with two hands, but it's not something I'm going to actually set goals for. My main goal is to give this team a shot at back-to-back premierships.'' Orford is back running after a 10-week layoff due to groin surgery in November. He played with a torn ligament for the bulk of last year, needing two pain-killing injections per match. "It felt like your stomach was going to tear off your groin when you'd try to sprint or take off,'' Orford said. "The best time of the week was when I had a local (anaesthetic). "My main goal is to try to get my running game back, to have the confidence and belief that your body's not going to hold you back. "It's going to take a few games, I reckon, to get that confidence back.'' Orford plans to play for as many as four more seasons, although his future beyond 2009 remains unclear. His priority is to stay at Manly and his agent, George Mimis, has had initial talks with the club. But Super League is an option and UK clubs will get the chance to view Orford first-hand in this month's World Club Challenge against Leeds. "I think I can still improve, I want to take my game to the next level,'' Orford said. "Definitely for Manly, I think (last year) was my best season. "When you're enjoying life, the environment you're in, you see the results. I would love to stay with the club, but we will talk when the time is right.'' While Manly has never settled on a fixed halves partner for Orford, he has spent most of the pre-season working with new signing Chris Bailey from Newcastle. It would enable Jamie Lyon to play his more natural position at centre. Orford said the team's structure would become clearer when Manly leave for the two-game British tour on February 14. "(Coach) Des (Hasler) has made it clear that no side since the Roosters (in 2003) has taken this title,'' Orford said of the World Club Challenge. "We really want to go over there and have a crack at it.''