Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Slater Aims to Kick off Successful Campaign

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Slater Aims to Kick off Successful Campaign

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Zemek

BILLY Slater says his battle to retain his Australian jersey will be fought on the home front, declaring tonight's NRL trial against the Brisbane Broncos the beginning of his campaign.

The Melbourne Storm flyer enjoyed a stellar 2008, being named the Golden Boot World Player of the Year and the man of the match in the World Cup final, despite playing in a losing Australian team and "that pass". However Slater faces a tough task to retain his mantle as the starting No.1 in both the Queensland and Australian sides with the likes of Manly's Brett Stewart, Karmichael Hunt, Newcastle's Kurt Gidley and a returning Matt Bowen nipping at his heals.

The Nambour product said he's given little thought to representative honours and only expects to earn a call-up if he can re-create last season's game-changing form at club level.

"I haven't really thought about (representative honours)," he said. "That sort of stuff's later on down the track. I've got to start playing well for the Storm. …

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