Damien Cook is no stranger to ANZ Stadium, but the new Rabbitoh is looking forward to stepping out onto the Club’s home-ground wearing the Cardinal and Myrtle this Saturday for the first time.
Having seen the strong level of Rabbitohs support in the stands as an outsider, Cook admitted to Rabbitohs.com.au that he can only imagine what having that kind of support behind him and his teammates will be like come Saturday’s Charity Shield.
“Souths obviously have a massive Membership base that’s still growing, so I can only imagine what that’s going to be like,” said Cook.
“I’m really looking forward to stepping onto ANZ Stadium as a Rabbitoh. I’m sure there’ll be a great show of support from all the Members this weekend.”
Cook was yesterday (Tuesday) named in Head Coach Michael Maguire’s line-up to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons in the traditional pre-season clash that for many signals the beginning of the NRL season.
The former Bulldog and Dragon will come off the bench wearing jumper number 14.
“It’s one of those games that everyone looks forward to – it’s a good rivalry to start off the year,” said Cook.
“This will be my first Charity Shield – it’s a game I’ve always wanted to play in and now that I’ve got that opportunity, I’m going to make the most of it.”
Cook got his first taste of life in the Red and Green at last weekend’s Auckland Nines, where the Helensburgh Tigers product made his presence felt with some deft play-making and evasive running.
“It was definitely good to get a few of the cobwebs out on the field, but it’s a different ball-game now,” said Cook.
“It’s 13 a side now, so we can really start to see where we’re at and try the things we’ve been doing at training in a game situation.
“The team is looking good – we’re training well and starting to take a bit of shape now. Obviously we’ll be missing a few players who are in the All Stars teams, but we’ll still have a strong side.
“If anything, it works out well because some of the newer faces – like myself – get the chance to get some game-time.”