PROMISING PANTHER: Former Gladstone Valleys player Sam Smith is  playing for the Penrith Panthers 2018 Intrust Super Premiership team.
PROMISING PANTHER: Former Gladstone Valleys player Sam Smith is playing for the Penrith Panthers 2018 Intrust Super Premiership team. Jeff Lambert - Penrith Panthers

Smith now ace Panther

RUGBY LEAGUE: Former Gladstone Valleys player Sam Smith is making a name for himself with the Penrith Panthers 2018 Intrust Super Premiership NSW team.

The 198cm flying winger has found his feet and is now scoring tries for the Panthers.

Smith started in round seven against Wentworthville Rugby League and has scored six tries in 17 appearances.

"It's been good down here and a lot more professional and a lot better system to work with," Smith said.

"I'm just trying to play consistent footy every week and keep on working hard at training."

The former North Queensland Cowboys and Brisbane Broncos under-20s player has put in the hard yards to get to where he is now.

The tall and talented winger had to do it tough at the start of the year without partner Rita Boyd and newborn daughter Ruby. "I arrived in January and missed the first half of the pre-season and an injury didn't help either," Smith said.

"Surgery was suggested but I didn't want to spend my first season in rehab."

Smith instead knuckled down and reaped the rewards of hard work by becoming a regular for the team.

"My daughter was born November last year and I had signed on for this year and had to move here to play football," Smith said.

"But the hard work for us has paid off in the end."



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