COBRAM Football Club will soon have a northern flavour, with Darwin import Steve Smith making the trip down south in two weeks.
No doubt the club will be hoping he can produce the same kind of incredible performances we have become so accustomed to seeing from his namesake over summer.
The 22-year-old has been plying his trade for Palmerston Magpies in the Northern Territory Football League.
Although hailing from Darwin, Smith’s transition to the Murray Football League will be made easier because of his connections to the club.
‘‘I’m good mates with Nathan Hartley and played junior footy with Tyron Baden as well,’’ Smith said.
‘‘They sort of spoke to me and said I should come down and play if I’m feeling healthy and fit after a season up here and I’m feeling good so I got in contact with the coach (Josh Noonan) and here we are.’’
Smith will come to Tigerland with renewed hope after enduring a tough season with Palmerston who finished bottom of the ladder in the NTFL — winning just one game and drawing one after losing a raft of players to rival clubs at the start of the year.
Smith said being such a young list gave him the chance to play more senior footy and develop his forward craft.
After playing the first four games in the reserves, he went on to play 11 in the senior side.
Standing 190cm, Smith said he had to be become a utility for the struggling side.
‘‘I was sort of thrown everywhere this year but I like to play in the forward line. I’ve had stints in the ruck, played a bit of backline and was thrown into the middle every now and then,’’ he said.
‘‘Primarily I think I will play forward at Cobram if a spot is available. I like to get up the ground a lot. I play as a high half forward, I like to get up the ground and help the midfielders and defenders out and gun it back to the forward line. I’d call it a counter-attacking brand of footy I guess.’’
Something Smith will have to acclimatise to in Murray Valley footy, besides the colder weather once winter hits, is the style of play here compared to the Northern Territory.
He said in Darwin, the footy was played at a lightning pace with even players who looked out of shape possessing serious zip.
Here he said he was anticipating more of a contested brand of footy with bigger bodies but said that element would not phase him.
‘‘I reckon I’ll suit the contest pretty well, I’ve got a bit of a frame and like to push people around and lay a few tackles so it should be fun,’’ he said.
It won’t be a completely new experience for Smith after spending a season in Bendigo when he was 18.
That season convinced him to one day return and try his luck down south once more.
Smith hoped he could stay in Victoria longer term if he can hold down a decent apprenticeship after working as a teacher’s aide in Darwin.