Off-contract Seumanufagai not stressing future
Wed 29 Jul, 2015, 1:00pm
By Jack Brady, National Correspondent , NRL.com
Ava Seumanufagai is looking to secure his future by playing consistent football
Wests Tigers prop Ava Seumanufagai and his fellow off-contract teammates are treating their status like any other player amidst recent revelations from coach Jason Taylor it could take up to three seasons to fix the club’s salary cap.
Seumanufagai is just one of 11 off-contract players who have played NRL football at the club.
The Wests Tigers prop isn’t concerned about the Tigers’ decision to release Keith Galloway to play overseas, despite uncertainty how talks about his own contract are progressing with his manager and the club.
“Contracts go through everyone’s mind and we boys do talk about it, briefly sometimes yeah – just in terms of I guess not knowing if we have to move and things like that, but it should look after itself,” Seumanufagai told NRL.com.
"There’s a few of us of boys here who are off-contract so we’re all under a bit of pressure to keep playing good footy but that’s just the nature of playing professionally, so we can continue to look after ourselves off the field.
“I’m just focused on playing footy. The contract stuff is in the back of my mind but I don’t think it affects my form personally.”
With Galloway departing, things may end up working in Seumanufagai’s favour with the Tigers down a prop for the 2016 season.
Averaging 89.3 metres and 18.4 tackles the 24-year-old is currently partaking in his best season of NRL to date.
Having overcome his hyper-extended knee woes, he will be a welcome inclusion for this Friday night’s clash at Leichhardt Oval against Melbourne.
“It’s really come together especially recently. It’s just been a matter of me doing my best for the team and really just helping out while I can. I get more game time now and it’s just a matter for me to keep improving I guess,” Seumanufagai said.
"I think I’m maturing as a player too. It’s my third season in the NRL so I feel a bit more responsibility coming my way, but the onus is on me. I expect a certain standard within and as long as I reach that then I’m happy with myself.
"It sucks to see Keithy go though. He’s been an awesome club man and he has a great sense of humour so he’s a good bloke to have around here.
“He’s very vocal around the club and when I was coming through the ranks in my first year he was sort of one of the older guys I’ve looked up to and now he’s just a good mate.”