Despite being three years out of the game, former NSW, Australian and Parramatta Eels winger Eric Grothe Junior is confident in his ability to return to full fitness and to making a contribution to the Sharks cause in 2014.
Grothe, who previously represented the NSW Origin side and also played one Test Match for Australia during a 146 game NRL career, agreed to terms on Monday morning to a pre-season train and trial opportunity at the Sharks with a view to playing for the club in 2014.
He attended the Sharks induction day on and has begun pre-season training.
"It's a very exciting time for me, I've only heard good things about the club," Grothe said.
A local Sutherland Shire resident, Grothe Jnr was looking forward to the challenge but wasn’t about to get too far ahead of himself, preferring to focus on the present rather than make bold predictions about what the future might bring.
“It’s a cliché but its important for me to just take every day as it comes,” Grothe said. “If I can put those bricks in place every day, hopefully there is a big wall at the end of it."
As for Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, he could only see positives in the signing of Grothe.
“Its all gain for me,” Flanagan said of the acquisition of Grothe. “If he gets through pre-season, he’s a quality player who will be a great addition to our team.
“Eric approached us, he’s been doing a lot of training, he lives in the area and he has his passion back for football. It’s a win, win if it comes off,”
A career in which he made his top grade deubt back in 1999 saw Grothe play 146 NRL games, in addition to his representative appearances for the Blues and Kangaroos.
A blockbusting runner of the ball when at his best, Grothe adds depth, experience and strike power to the Sharks backline.
Grothe was forced out of the game with a knee injury at the end of the 2010 season while at the Eels but three years on, looking healthy and fit, is set to make an impact at the Sharks in 2014.
Sharks TV caught up with Grothe for his first interview in Sharks colours, which is now playing.