We want top four

Manly captain BEN KENNEDY
11mar06

ANYTHING short of a top-four finish in 2006 will be a failure in my book.

I don't believe in sugar-coating my comments and I'm not about to play down our chances.

We finished eighth last season and have bought very well in the off-season, so the bar should be set high.

With the team we've assembled, we'll be aiming for the finals and a spot among the NRL's echelon.

Matt Orford is a great addition at halfback and has slotted in like he's been at Brookie for 10 years.

He's tough, clever and experienced in steering a team around the park.

We'll be able to box teams down at their end with his astute kicking game and he'll relieve the pressure when we're under the pump. And apart from trying to copy my hairstyle, I like what I see in Steve Bell.

He is a very under-rated centre and it came as no surprise when big Mal Meninga - not a bad judge when it comes to No 3 and 4s - selected ``Belly'' in his preliminary Queens land State of Origin squad.

The rest of the squad has been together for some time and is hungry for success after getting a sniff of finals footy last year. Me?

I'm just super keen to get under way.

The captaincy is just what I needed at this stage of my career.

After seeing all our premiership-winning skippers together in the one room this week, I am desperate to join this select club.

We might not be rated a grand final hope but who would have thought the Tigers would get there last year? With seven premiers in the past eight seasons, anything is possible. We are dreaming big.

But we need support - the louder the better - particularly at home.

The fences at Fortress Brookie have been repaired and no team will get an easy 80 minutes there.

The Raiders will be the first to find that out tonight.

See you there.

-

Coming from our legendary captain. Hopefully his mindset rubs onto the other players. Reason to feel optimistic?
 

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