PRIZED Wests Tigers recruit Adam Blair admits he is already feeling the expectations of joining the club - albeit the pressure is self inflicted.
With the Wests Tigers in search of their second premiership title after coming so close in the past two years, Blair joined the premiership favourites for 2012 on a four year-deal reportedly worth $500,000 a season - and the New Zealand vice-captain has put the high demands on himself to perform.
“The only pressure I feel is the pressure I place on myself,’’ Blair said from training.
“All I want to do is to be consistent and play some good footy for the team and for the club.
“I just want to get through these trial matches and then focus on Round 1.”
With his primary focus on learning the team’s plays and displaying a consistent performance each week, Blair said the clubs warm welcome has the Concord base already feeling like home.
Rated by many as the best ball playing forward in the NRL, the opportunity to link up with Benji Marshall and introduce an exciting ad-libbed element of football to his game was an enticing factor in him joining the club.
“Having a great coach who coaches the Australian team, Tim Sheens was a massive one for me as well as the style the Tigers play I really enjoy watching them play,” he said.
“Benji was a bit of (the reason), I’m good mates with Benji and to have anyone like Benji in your side is a great asset to have.
“I felt like I wanted a change and I felt the Tigers was right for me.”
Already coach Sheens’ training has taken affect on the former Melbournian.
Despite featuring in the Four Nations and NRL All Stars match, Blair is reaping the benefits of what has been a short pre-season.
“The skill work they do down here its more hands on and it really takes your skill to another level,” he said.
“You concentrate on passing and catching the ball, the right techniques and stuff like that.
“There is a really good feeling around the place.
“We have been training well and the skill level here is really high.
“Come Round 1, we will put everything we have learnt over the pre-season together and see how we go.”
Blair makes his first appearance in the Wests Tigers jersey in the trial match against Parramatta at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford this Saturday night, while his official debut will come in front of a packed out Leichardt Oval against the Sharks in Round 1.
“It is going to be a great game. Round 1, versus the Sharks, hopefully at a sold out Leichhardt Oval, you can’t get any better than that,’’ Blair said.
“It will be a great atmosphere so hopefully all the Wests Tigers Members are there in force. It will be nice to be cheered for instead of being booed at Leichhardt.”