While we wonder if we will live to see Melbourne Storm skipper Cameron Smith retire from the NRL, we nonetheless are glad to learn that he will be back for his 19th season in the Telstra 2020 NRL Premiership competition.
After Melbourne’s exit from the 2019 NRL finals, it was natural to think Smith might hang up his boots, as the Storm ruled the competition last year, but failed to advance to the Grand Final beyond finals week three, when eventual premiers Sydney ended the Storm’s season.
Smith may have been thinking like a genius when he decided to call time on rep football.
He eliminated all the international travel and his work load, or as the NBA likes to say, load management, so he mitigated, to some degree, the wear and tear of playing footy year round.
Smith has indicated that this will be his final year, but he also indicated that he expects Josh Addo-Carr to remain with Melbourne for 2020, dismissing suggestions that Addo-Carr might be bound for Sydney.
Smith will turn 37 during the 2020 campaign. Not quite old enough to qualify for a seniors’ discount, but the 414 game hooker has obviously seen and done just about anything that could be expected from or by a NRL footballer.
He has one year remaining on his contract, but the disappointing fashion in which the Storm crashed after seemingly coasting to the minor premiership left him weighing his future.
Smith told reporters, in remarks picked up by the AAP, “I must say I feel a lot better than I did a week or two weeks after we finished up. It takes a little bit to get over that disappointment, I guess more so now being older and knowing that the chances are running out.”
Smith was more concerned with the mental demands of 25 rounds of NRL football then he was about the physical side.