29-year old Penrith acquisition, Tim Browne says that he has put behind him an ankle injury that hindered his last season as a Bulldog after getting through his first game for his new club, in last Saturday’s 20-10 trial win over his former club.
“I played all (last) year with an an ankle problem. The ligament was separated but I played on all year with that,” Browne explained.
“On coming over to the Panthers I was struggling to train and felt we better get it fixed now instead of playing another year with it and about a month ago I started running again and its coming along really well.
“It was good to get out there tonight and get the confidence under my belt as well."
Tim Browne renews acquaintances with former Bulldog team-mates. Credit: NRL Photos.
Browne, whose NRL career has been restricted to just 84 games due to a series of injuries, says that the three-year deal provided by the Panthers has given him a new lease of life as he looks to extend his playing days beyond the end of his new contract, adding that he was not only looking to prove himself to his new team mates but show he is capable of playing extra minutes as well.
“It was Gus and Anthony that I sat down with mid-year and said they were interested and asked if I was looking to take an opportunity to come out here and it fitted at the time," Browne recalls.
“From my end, we’ve got a little girl now which helps provide a bit of security.
“But for the Panthers to show the faith in me, I’m going to take this opportunity with both hands and make every post a winner.
“Coming off the bench and playing limited minutes, I was looking for an opportunity to play some more minutes.
“I missed a lot of footy when I was younger.
“My early twenties I had a few injuries so I still consider myself fairly new to the NRL.
“I’ve got a lot to learn and I’m very hungry to succeed so I don’t see myself stopping (after this deal ends).
“I want to keep going as long as I have the passion for it."
Browne says that although it felt strange to playing at Belmore in opposition colours so soon, he was quickly able to put that aside to focus on the task at hand for his new club, but admitted it did feel odd to be playing for the club that eliminated his former club in last year’s finals.
“Being on this side of the fence today was funny but it’s just another game you don’t really worry about who’s on the other side,”Browne said.
“As a Bulldog last year it wasn’t the way we wanted to finish but as a Panther I was lucky they went one better.
“It’s just all about getting down to business and then have a laugh after the game.”
Browne is equally under no illusions as to how difficult it will be securing a spot in Penrith’s NRL squad for Round One will be, but remains excited by the prospects of his new team.
“You’ve got to earn your spot in this team. No one can be complacent,” Browne declared.
“There’s a lot of young talented players and a lot of good old heads as well so it’s going to be a cracker of a team come Round 1.
“There’s a lot of good players here and hopefully I take that opportunity with both hands (when it comes)."