Tim Smith (rugby league)

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Tim Smith
Tim Smith (23 April 2005).jpg
Smith in 2005
Personal information
Full name Timothy Aiden Smith
Born (1985-01-13) 13 January 1985 (age 29)
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Height 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 93 kg (14 st 9 lb)
Playing information
Position Halfback, Five-eighth
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2005–2008 Parramatta Eels 71 11 1 0 46
2008–2009 Wigan Warriors 23 2 0 0 8
2010–2011 Cronulla-Sutherland 19 5 4 1 29
2012–2013 Wakefield Trinity 51 8 0 0 32
2014– Salford Red Devils 14 2 7 0 22
2014– Wakefield Trinity 2 1 0 0 4
Total 180 29 12 1 141
As of 10th June 2014
Source: RLP

Timothy Aiden Smith (born 13 January 1985 in Runaway Bay, Queensland) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer for English club Salford Red Devils of Super League. He previously played for Super League clubs Wigan Warriors and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, and in Australia for the Parramatta Eels and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks of the National Rugby Leaguen the NRL. Smith's usual position is in the halves.

Playing career[edit]

Smith started his NRL career with the Parramatta Eels and received much acclaim from Parramatta legend Peter Sterling, who "handed over" the Eels number 7 jersey in an episode of The NRL Footy Show in the middle of 2005. After leading the competition in try assists he won the rookie of the year award at the 2005 Dally M Awards. With 40 try assists in his debut season Smith was named the 2005 Parramatta Eels season's rookie of the year.

In December 2005, Smith was allegedly involved in a street scuffle with a man in the inner-Sydney suburb of the Rocks.[1] He denied any such action and no charges were laid.[citation needed]

In December 2007, further allegations of public drunken behaviour were made against Smith.[2]

Smith was suspended indefinitely by the Eels. He remained on contract with the club, and Parramatta stated the most important issue was his health. Smith booked himself into full-time rehabilitation interstate.[3] On 8 January 2008 the Parramatta Club reviewed his behaviour at the rehabilitation clinic and lifted his suspension but he was subject to a number of sanctions which included a fine and charity work.[4]

Early in the 2008 season, after just three games of football, Smith advised his club and team-mates that he was suffering from bipolar disorder.[5] He then gave a statement to the media saying he had been given an indefinite leave from football, saying he was having trouble coping with the constant criticism from the media.

Smith returned to his family in the Gold Coast, with the aim to rest and recuperate with the aim of returning to professional rugby league in the future.[6]

Move to England[edit]

Wigan announced in June 2008 that they had signed Smith for the remainder of the 2008 season and 2009.

Smith linked up with his new team-mates in July once his work-permit has been approved, after weeks of visa complications.[7] He played his professional debut for the club in a home loss to Huddersfield, although the mental illness that had ended his season for the Parramatta Eels and lack of match fitness did produce some concern about his ability to play rugby league in Europe's top-flight competition, which was reflected in the terms of his contract to Wigan, despite his claims that his bipolar condition was now under control:

We acknowledge some risks – reflected in the contract – in signing Tim after his early-season illness difficulties but Tim now feels ready to re-launch his Rugby League career away from the Sydney media pressure. We believe the supportive and professional environment at the Wigan club is ideal to help him achieve this.

Ian Lenagan[8]

Smith showed some excellent form in the first half of the 2009 season, putting together successive man of the match performances, but a shoulder injury ended his season early and he returned to Australia. Rumours continued to revolve around Smith, with Cronulla looking the most likely home for the young, gifted playmaker. The star halfback declared he was hopeful of a return to the Eels and would take a $250,000 pay cut to make it happen.

Return to the NRL (2010)[edit]

He signed with the Brisbane Broncos for the 2010 season but did not make an appearance, which led to his move to the Sharks. In late 2009, Smith began training with the Brisbane Broncos in a bid to win a return to the NRL through their Queensland Cup feeder side Easts Tigers.[9] Months later, he signed with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. In his first match back in the NRL, he played his former club the Parramatta Eels, and was influential in leading the Sharks to an 11–0 win, scoring a penalty goal and a field goal.[10] However Smith's form subsequently dropped, which resulted in his axing to the NSW Cup.[11]

Wakefield Trinity[edit]

Smith signed with Wakefield Trinity for the 2012 season and made his first public appearance at the Trinity kit launch on 8 December.

Salford Red Devils[edit]

Smith signed with Salford Red Devils towards the end of the 2013 season, with the Chairman of his former club releasing a statement confirming that Salford had paid 'a substantial fee' for the half back. On June 10, Smith returned to Wakefield on loan until the end of the season. However on the same day, Salford owner Marwan Koukash had two ditch players to fit Kevin Locke in the team. Locke has a high salary and Tim and fellow team mate Shannan McPherson had to leave in order for Locke to fit under the Salary Cap and avoid breach.,[12][13]

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]