New Wakefield Wildcats recruit Daniel Smith insists the club’s cash problems did not enter his thinking when he was handed the chance to shine in Super League.
The 20-year-old spent a year with South Sydney Rabbitohs under-20s after coming through the Leeds Rhinos youth ranks and cannot wait to try his hand in Super League.
The former Castleford Lock Lane player says the move comes at the right time in his blossoming career and says Wildcats’ off-the-field problems were not an issue.
“I’m not worried about that at all,” he insisted.
“I’m just looking to establish myself in Super League and I believe I can do that with Wakefield.
“I think it’s the right step to take at this stage in my career.”
The former England Academy player should not take too long to settle in at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
He knows Bobbie Goulding and Reece Lyne from his days with England and Lee Smith and Ali Lauitiiti from his time at Headingley.
And Smith says his namesake Lee gave Wakefield, and head coach Richard Agar, the thumbs up before he sealed the deal.
“Rich was part of the reason I wanted to sign,” he said.
“I spoke to a few of the lads including Lee Smith and he said Rich was a great coach so I’m really looking forward to working with him.
“Lee also said one of the best things about the club is the team spirit and the atmosphere amongst the players and the coaching staff so that was a pull for me to sign too.”
The front-rower was already highly-rated before his move Down Under and he says a year with the Rabbitohs has only helped to progress his game.
“Over there I was just looking to progress as a front rower and I think it did me the world of good,” he said.
“I’d advise any young players to do the same because it was a great experience for me and I think I’m a better player for it.”
Smith’s next aim is to become an established Super League player in the red, white and blue of Wakefield.
He will be keen to follow in the footsteps of Kyle Amor, who also rose through the Leeds youth set-up before moving to Wildcats and securing a move to St Helens on the back of his form this year.
“I can’t wait to get started with the rest of the lads,” he said.
“We return to pre-season training on October 31 and I’m looking forward to starting out with the club and hopefully becoming an established Super League player.”