JOSH Perry is working hard to put a year of disappointment behind him.
The big forward made just 12 appearances for the Saints last season before being ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a hamstring injury.
It was a frustrating start to his career in England after arriving from Manly with a fearsome reputation and international experience.
But now the 31-year-old is enjoying a full pre-season which will leave him all the better prepared for the rigours of Super League XVII.
“It’s been good so far,” he said. “I am in full training now and I am very excited about being able to do all the same things as my teammates. More importantly, the hamstring is good and I am ready to go.
“I was injured when I arrived last year so didn’t get a full pre-season. I did a lot of swimming instead. I did that for about six weeks and then did two weeks of running and fitness. A proper pre-season will make a world of difference and hopefully the fans will see a lot more of me this year.
“It was tough as I missed more games last season than I have throughout my whole career. My family wasn’t with me too. That is all over now and I feel I am more established and settled at home too. I am thinking about football, training and getting everything right”
Perry and his teammates will have to fill the void left by the now departed James Graham but it’s a job he reckons they are all looking forward to.
“Quite a few of us will have to fill the shoes of Jammer and Anthony Laffranchi is one who has been brought in to do that,” he continued. “But myself and Louie will have to do that and Louie has been given the number 10 shirt too.
“But it’s really game on next season at this new stadium. Everything is fresh and everyone is feeding off the energy around the town. It will be pretty special running out there for the first time in that game against Widnes.
“We have work to do though and will have to play well to get a win. It isn’t like Knowsley Road which everyone hated to come to. Everyone will love to come here! Hopefully the fans will get along and make it uncomfortable for the opposition.
“We want to change what happened at the end of the season and we want to do well in the cup as well.”
Tickets for the first game at Langtree Park – the Karalius Cup clash against Widnes – are now on sale. Click here to buy.