ONE object has been at the forefront of Reuben Garrick’s mind during his second preseason with St George Illawarra.
That is securing his debut first grade Dragons jersey – an accomplishment the Gerringong product hopes will happen sooner rather than later.
“Making my first grade debut is 100 per cent my goal for 2018,” Garrick said.
“I’d love to play first grade – it’s been a dream of mine since primary school.
“I can still remember the buzz I got from pulling on the Red V for the first time in under 20s and so to get a first grade jersey would mean the absolute world to me.
“It would be amazing to be given a crack this season – it’s a realistic goal I think can achieve this year.
“But I know it’s dependant on me making the most of my opportunity and grab it with both hands, if and when it comes my way.”
At the end of 2017, Garrick, who played for the NSW under 20s side last season, sat down with head coach Paul McGregor and the coaching staff to discuss their plans.
“When I sat down with Mary [McGregor], we set out some goals for myself, which we have been continually re-evaluating and will continue to do so this season going forward,” he said.
“We both know how important it is to stay focused and keep on track. The training load is very similar to last season but I feel I am coping a lot better with it all mentally.
“With me knowing what to expect, I’ve been able to tackle it head on the best I can, from the word go.
“I haven’t left anything in the tank either, because I know exactly how long it goes for while taking care of my recovery – a year’s experience in the pre-season is massive.”
Garrick said he’s sought to embrace every challenge set out for him this preseason.
“Obviously the fitness as been extremely tough but the hardest part would have to be the contact and wrestle sessions,” he said.
“Every Tuesday and Friday are mainly fitness while the other days involve ball work and those contact and wrestle sessions.
“It’s especially tough when we are asked to take on some of the bigger boys in our squad like James Graham and Paul Vaughan.”