Part of the family: Matt Robinson is embraced by his Panthers teammates after scoring his first NRL try this season. Picture: Gene RamirezMATT Robinson arrived at the foot of the mountains this season as an aspiring first grade player on a short and potentially sweet — and potentially sour — 12-month contract.
Last Friday, he officially confirmed a career in the NRL when he signed a two-year contract extension with the Panthers for 2013 and 2014.
“That was obviously the dream and goal, and for that dream to become reality was surreal,” Robinson said.
“It’s what I’ve hoped for and what I always wanted to do, to remain at the club, so I was just ecstatic and really happy with how it all went.”
While security is one benefit of the contract, Robinson said he was most excited about the opportunity to cement himself in the Panthers’ line-up.
“Coming from someone who was just on the fringe this year, hopefully I can work towards securing a full-time spot in the squad week in, week out and playing my best footy with the Panthers,” he said.
Despite the club’s desperate battle to avoid the 2012 wooden spoon, Robinson was confident the Panthers were destined for success soon.
“Absolutely, with all the plans Gus and Ivan are putting together, they’re exciting times,” he said.
“To be part of that rebuilding culture and to turn the club from not a good season this year into a force in the competition a couple of years down the track — that was a factor [in re-signing].”
Robinson is a former New Zealand Warriors Toyota Cup player and was a member of their full-time squad last year.
He’ll return to his homeland this weekend when the Panthers meet the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium and Robinson said he was eager to re-unite with his loved ones and ready to do battle with his former club.
“The club gave me a chance to build my career, it’s the club I grew up idolising, and obviously I’m good mates with the boys in the team and people associated with the club, so it will be weird but I’m excited to play and win,” he said.
“I’m actually quite confident and if it all comes together, there’d be no better place for that to happen than New Zealand.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.