THREE years is a long time in rugby league, but new Dragons bookend Mitch Allgood is confident he still has plenty to offer in the NRL.
The former Parramatta enforcer played 70 games for the Eels after debuting in 2011, before taking up a three-year deal with Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers.
He turned out for Wakefield Trinity this year following Hull’s relegation before the Dragons threw him an NRL lifeline via one-year deal.
Still only 28, Allgood said he always planned to return to Australia to see to some unfinished business.
“After I’d been over there for that first season, you’re watching teams back here play you do miss it,” Allgood said.
“At the time it was a good opportunity, a three-year deal, a new start and something that took me completely out of my comfort zone.
“As a person, being away, I think I grew up a lot and I think that’s helped me in becoming a better player.
“I’m glad I did it but I’m also glad I’ve come back. To get the opportunity to come back with the Dragons and challenge myself again is something I’m grateful to have.
With partner Madeline hailing from Nowra, Allgood said the Dragons provided the “ideal” opportunity to reboot his career.
”It’s completely different circumstances for preseason being right by the beach in the sun but I’m really enjoying it,” he said.
“As far as location goes, this is exactly where we want to be. My partner’s from Nowra so this is absolutely perfect. Our little boy Peter’s almost two.
“He was born over there and we had some fun going to some great places with him but to be back with that family around is really enjoyable.
“From a club point of view, the roster, the staff the facilities were all very attractive. They had a really successful year last year despite falling short of the finals so to be a part of that moving forward is very exciting.”
Allgood joins fellow recruits James Graham and Jeremy Latimore at the club, as coach Paul McGregor looks to bolster his middle stocks following the departure of Russell Packer.
It will put spots up front at a premium but Allgood said he’s embracing the challenge of forcing his way into the 17.
“It’s one of the biggest strengths we have at this club, it’s a great forward pack,” Allgood said.
“Looking at the stats from last season, the forwards were outstanding so working with these guys… I’m only going to be better for it.
“I think every player wants to be in that 17 but right now we’re in preseason and the harder you work each day the better opportunity you’ll have to be in that 17.”