Stanley ready to star in Charity Shield


Making a last-ditch bid to seal a centre spot in the Charity Shield is nothing new for Chase Stanley - only this time he would like to remember it.

He was one decent performance away from seamlessly slotting back into the Dragons' fold last year, when he was knocked unconscious by an Eddy Pettybourne high shot.

It was barely 10 minutes into his return match with St George Illawarra after a two-year stint in Melbourne.

The 23-year-old didn't regain his place in the Dragons' top-grade squad until round 15.

Slated to start from the bench in tonight's traditional season pipe-opener, Stanley is locked in a showdown with Daniel Vidot to partner veteran Matt Cooper in the centres.

Stanley acknowledged the Charity Shield setback last season wasn't ideal timing, leading to a stop-start season.

"I was just coming off a knee reconstruction as well so I was trying to find my feet," the former Kiwi international said.

"Unfortunately that happens in football - you get some head knocks and I was just trying to find my feet in those last 10 rounds [of last season].

"I got my shot [mid-way through] last year and hopefully I can try to start the year off well."

Vidot and Stanley, who leapt high to pluck a Jamie Soward bomb out of the air and score, were among the better performers in the Dragons' trial loss to the Cowboys in Cairns last weekend.

Coach Steve Price said he was still weighing up who would get the nod for round one, with the Charity Shield audition to have a major influence on the outcome.

"I thought they had really good games last week, the pair of them, and they'll get another opportunity [tonight]," Price said.

"Whoever comes out the best I'm sure will get that opportunity come round one against Melbourne. The ball's in their court."

Just as Stanley looks to shelve his injury demons, which have restricted him to just 60 NRL games over six seasons, younger brother Kyle is slowly working on his own rehabilitation.

Kyle Stanley, 21, will spend the rest of 2013 recovering from a fourth knee reconstruction.

"There's not much rush for him," Chase Stanley said.

"He's got a long program ahead of him and I think he goes in for another op soon.

"He's looking to get his head around that, but he's doing well. He's keeping positive. We have a little chat here and there.

"Even though he's my younger brother we still talk about football and we sort of feed off each other."

Chase Stanley at Dragons training yesterday. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Chase Stanley at Dragons training yesterday. Picture: GREG TOTMAN


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