Veteran Titan’s prop Matt White has come a long way since leaving his home town of Inverell to chase his NRL dream.
He dreamt of playing just one NRL match but now he is proud that he has stretched the number to 150.
Typically modest, the popular club man downplayed the achievement, but said he was proud of the milestone, particularly given his run with injury over the years.
“It’s a good achievement I suppose to play 150 games. I’m pretty happy that I’ve stuck around so long, especially considering I missed a whole year when I injured my ACL and had a knee reconstruction,” White said.
“When I first started out I was just happy to get one game up, so to be where I am is a nice achievement I guess, even more so playing in the front row, it can take it’s toll.”
With professional rugby league developing into such a cut-throat industry where player movement is common place, the big forward said he was happy to have been at the Titans for so long.
“I’ve been at the one club for seven seasons now which isn’t very common these days and I’ve enjoyed my time here, I’m glad I’ve been here for a while now,” he said.
Coming from the small town of Inverell in the Titans catchment area of northern New South Wales, White said it was a bit of a shock when he first moved from a town of just 16,000 to Newcastle, but he now feels at home on the Gold Coast.
“Coming from small country town it was a bit of a shock going to a bigger city like Newcastle at a young age, but I’ve adjusted on the Gold Coast, it’s a lot more laid back which has made it easier to blend in, I’ve enjoyed it up here,” White said.
He started his career at Newcastle where he played 28 games before moving to the Gold Coast where he has made 122 appearances in his seven seasons at the Titans.
Having made his first grade debut in 2005, White has seen the game change and evolve over his ten-year involvement, with the professionalism and speed of the game undertaking the biggest transformations.
“The pace of the game has definitely been the biggest change over the years. It’s gotten so much quicker, everyone’s fitter, the rucks are so much faster and the pace of the game is unreal these days,” he said.
Despite 2015 being a disappointing season for White and the Titans, the veteran is determined to finish off the season strongly in front of the loyal Gold Coast fans.
“We’ve had a few disappointing games, but we’ve played some good footy too. We spoke about it as a group after the weekend’s game that we want to finish the season strongly in front of our home fans so hopefully we can do that.”