Matt Dufty is one of the hottest off-contract players in the NRL but with a new coach to impress he has declared he wants to remain at St George Illawarra.
There has never been a more important pre-season for the 25-year-old fullback who admits he may have some big decisions to make with a contract on the line at the end of the year.
“It’s always in the back of your mind coming into the last year of your contract, you’ve got a point to prove,” he said on Monday.
“You want to be re-signed, or there comes a point where you have to think about your future as well.
“Obviously some big decisions for me this year.
“I’d love to stay at the Red V.”
After moving to Shellharbour to be nearer to training last year, his intentions are clear.
But several NRL clubs are keeping a close eye on his development under Anthony Griffin.
Dufty had a solid end to the 2020 season, but struggled for consistency under former coach Paul McGregor as the Dragons spine was chopped and changed each week.
Griffin has already declared no position is safe this season, which gives Dufty a point to prove to maintain his spot at No.1.
Youngsters Cody Ramsay and Tyrell Sloan are nipping at his heels at training, which Dufty says is pushing him to improve.
Speed is his strength, while he’s working on timing and extra efforts to take his game to the next level this season.
“It’s the little things, pushing off the ball, getting more touches,” he said.
“The way the game’s going I can’t miss those jumps if Cam (McInnes) takes off or if one of the halves makes a half break.
“I’ve got to be there to capitalise.
“It’s the little things, it’s not the big plays.
“It’s getting the numbers right and finding consistency because fullback is an important position at the moment.”