February 20, 201312:00AM
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ROBBIE Farah is in no rush to decide his future. If negotiations on a new contract drag into the opening rounds of the premiership, Farah is confident he can handle any potential distraction.
“I don’t want it dragging on for ages, but in saying that I am not in any rush to get it sorted out immediately,” the Wests Tigers captain said at yesterday’s launch of the Foundation Cup.
"It’s a big decision for myself. It will probably be my last long-term contract so it’s a decision I am not going to take lightly. I need to think it through and make sure I come up with the right option.
Along with Johnathan Thurston, Jarryd Hayne and Todd Carney, Farah shapes as the most influential player on the open market. He has been linked with an assortment of clubs but says he is yet to speak to any other than the Tigers. Leaving would be a wrench.
Farah is the Tigers’ skipper and has played his entire first-grade career at the club.
“I handled a lot of distractions last year,” Farah said, the most challenging being the death of his mother Sonia mid-year.
"I think I can handle this. Again, it’s not a distraction for myself because I have left it with my manager. That’s what he is there for.
“It will happen when it happens. When everything is on the table and it is time to make a decision, that’s when I have to think about it. At the moment it is not at that stage.”
Farah has his hands full as it is. The Tigers are desperate to put a disappointing season behind them and the signs were promising as they opened the pre-season with a thrashing of Parramatta – their first game under coach Mick Potter, who replaced Tim Sheens at the end of last year.
“It’s been a good pre-season but . . . a good pre-season doesn’t make a good season,” Farah said.
"We need to get results on the field. It’s no secret we’re all disappointed with last year. Myself, I was really disappointed with how we went last year.
"First you need to identify where you went wrong. We had a good look at where we thought it went wrong.
“We were open and honest about it. I know I was to the players. It was a reality check and one we probably needed. We have had three or four months over the pre-season to work on those things.”
One of those things is being more circumspect with the football. At times, the Tigers have been accused of taking too many risks. Potter has encouraged the side to temper that risk-taking.
“Probably more about earning the right to play that expansive game,” Potter said.
“Play those plays at the right time rather than chance your hand too much.”