Nathan Merritt says his best years aren’t behind him and believes he can still star in the NRL, whether it be at South Sydney or elsewhere.
Try-scoring record holder Nathan Merritt says he still has plenty to offer in the NRL, and hasn’t ruled out leaving South Sydney if that’s what’s required to get the most out of his career.
Merritt has confirmed his future at Redfern is uncertain, after being dropped by coach Michael Maguire last month.
The 31-year-old believes he still has much to offer the Rabbitohs in their top-eight charge, and remains confident of winning back his position on the wing.
Maguire has said Merritt is still very important to the club, and Souths have reportedly tabled a one-year offer with the promise of a job after football to their leading all-time try-scorer.
However, Merritt has received interest from elsewhere and says he’s not ready to think about winding down his career.
“I still feel fresh; my body still feels good,” Merritt told AAP.
“Age is just a number – it’s about how your body feels and my body is feeling pretty good.
“I’d like to stay but it’s up in the air at the moment.
“Whatever comes my way, I’m ready. I’m just going to embrace whatever happens.”
Merritt was dropped in April, but came back into first grade to replace Queensland State of Origin star Greg Inglis at fullback in Monday night’s 18-0 win over Cronulla.
The flyer took confidence from the return, however he wasn’t named for this Monday night’s clash with St George Illawarra, with impressive young winger Alex Johnston seemingly locked in for the rest of the year.
That’s not to say Merritt isn’t a chance to come back in. Maguire might still bring the club’s favourite son back on the other flank at the expense of Joel Reddy, who has been in and out of the side.
Merritt accepts the reasons for being dropped but has promised to give the Rabbitohs a boost if recalled.
“I think I can. I’ve got a lot of experience behind me and I’ve got a lot to give to the team and, hopefully, it’s still a long year for me in first grade,” Merritt said.
“My future will take care of itself if I play good footy.
“I wasn’t playing to the standards I can play but, hopefully, I can regain that buzz I had and continue to play NRL.
“I’m pretty confident. It was a great feeling (on Monday) getting the win so it puts a lot of enjoyment back into my footy.”