Chee-Kam wants to exit centre stage

Forward planning: Chee-Kam wants to exit centre stage
Author - Margie McDonald
Senior Reporter
Wed 11 Dec 2019, 01:21 PM

There’s a logjam of back-row contenders and a vacancy in the centres at the Wests Tigers but Michael Chee-Kam is all about forward planning.

Esan Marsters’s departure to the Cowboys has left a vacancy in the centres at the Wests Tigers which seems tailor-made for Chee-Kam, who has started in the backs for 13 of his 71 games for the club and often switched out wide mid-game when injury has struck.

He’s been used off the bench in the majority of games, 41 times, and only started in the second row 17 times but now he is focused on securing a starting gig in the forwards next season.

“I guess the utility [label] just got put on me because I’m a bit faster as a back-rower, it just put me in that centre spot. I enjoy it though,” he said of the thought of spending some time in the back line.

"This season [2020] I want to try and play second row. I love second row and I want to make that my position.

“There’s a good opportunity there, we’ve signed a couple of back-rowers which is a good challenge at the club now.”

Luciano Leilua’s arrival from the Dragons means he joins Josh Aloiai, Luke Garner, Chris Lawrence and Chee-Kam as the main contenders for the No.11 and No.12 jerseys.

Although Chee-Kam’s 2019 was tarnished by a court appearance for assault after being charged with hitting a taxi driver which resulted in the 27-year-old receiving a two-year good behaviour bond and $2000 fine, the Wests Tigers re-signed him for another two years.

“It was obviously a massive show of faith form the club and I was just really hoping to secure something for the future,” Chee-Kam said.

"I just want to repay the club back for showing me the faith.

"I’ve been here for four years now, so I’ve been here for a long time and this feels like home to me.

"Everyone goes through things in life that challenge you and I guess that builds your character. I went through that and there’s a lot of things I can improve on in life, especially off the field.

“It was out of character but it was a very good learning curve for me.”

Among his six-try haul in 2019 were two memorable four-pointers in the dying stages of matches: a 78th-minute effort against the Broncos (round 5) in a 22-16 win, and a 75th-minute touchdown against South Sydney (round 15) in a 14-9 triumph.

“I think I was just lucky. I’m still pretty buzzed when I look back on those. The NRL put up a video last week and watched it again a couple of times. I still can’t believe it,” he said.

But any euphoria over scoring points was brought undone with the Sharks (25-8) knocking over the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval in round 25 to deny them a finals spot.

last edited by willow

Nearly choked on my Jatz and cheese when I read this thread title

Is he fast enough for the centre’s on a full time basis

Sprint training please

@happy_tiger said in Chee-Kam wants to exit centre stage:

Is he fast enough for the centre’s on a full time basis

Sprint training please

Mate he wants to move to second row full time

I understand the want for growth and progression, but I just can’t see him starting unless there are injuries. He misses so many tackles it’s crazy. And his impact goes down when he plays longer minutes. He’s been a bloody good bench player. Around that 40-50 minutes per game mark seems to be his sweet spot.

last edited by Kazoo Kid

He is a woeful, absolutely woeful, defensive center. Thank heavens he does not want to play there again.

He is a below average starter…

But an above average bench player.

His spot is the bench.

Hasn’t played centre for ages. Won’t play centre again, unless mid game injuries hit. He’s just a bench back rower, that’s his perfect position

@Tiger_Steve said in Chee-Kam wants to exit centre stage:

@happy_tiger said in Chee-Kam wants to exit centre stage:

Is he fast enough for the centre’s on a full time basis

Sprint training please

Mate he wants to move to second row full time

Nah he is a bench player as many have stated his impact late in halves has been obvious

If he had a decent passing game he would be worth a thought at hooker

But we have to get away from that mentality , specialist players for particular positions …

Good bench option

Has been great off the bench and played some great games winning some for us even however, if we are going to be better than 9th we need better. Not saying he can’t improve but he isn’t and I don’t think he can be one of those damaging wide running, line breaking 2nd rowers. He could possibly be a lock but his defence will be tested.

Where he is at now, a top eight team would see him as a bench or depth player only.

He is not a starter any where on the field but a decent impact forward.If he stays like that he will be doing his job

He’ll need to learn how to pass

@happy_tiger said in Chee-Kam wants to exit centre stage:

If he had a decent passing game he would be worth a thought at hooker

That’s up there with your worst suggestion of all time…

His defensive workrate struggles coming off the bench and out wide starting… let alone what’s required in the middle of the field…there are 2 sides to the game…

Great off the bench as he covers back row and centre…there is nothing wrong with that…

@Geo said in Chee-Kam wants to exit centre stage:

@happy_tiger said in Chee-Kam wants to exit centre stage:

If he had a decent passing game he would be worth a thought at hooker

That’s up there with your worst suggestion of all time…

His defensive workrate struggles coming off the bench and out wide starting… let alone what’s required in the middle of the field…there are 2 sides to the game…

Great off the bench as he covers back row and centre…there is nothing wrong with that…

In know their are two sides …us and who ever we plan on killing next round

Nothing else matters

Its probably easier defending in the middle 3rd than it is on an edge , you have more protection and it’s a lot harder to get found out speed/footwork wise …more importantly you need to have a passing game as you will touch the ball more than any other player

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