David Klemmer won’t be dialling down the aggression, he’ll just be more selective on when to use it.
The Canterbury firebrand Klemmer will make his season debut in Thursday’s NRL clash against Penrith after missing their round one win over Manly due to suspension.
The NSW State of Origin star was pinged for a torpedo-style tackle in a trial against Melbourne, and was forced to seek a downgrade at the judiciary after initially being found guilty of dangerous contact.
And after being a frustrated spectator at Brookvale, he vowed not to change his approach upon return.
“Being young and being a very competitive bloke, sometimes it gets the best of me. As a footballer, that’ll mature over the years. I’ve just got to contain it a bit better,” he said on Monday.
Skipper James Graham has already publicly backed Klemmer to maintain the rage, even if it means he risks further suspension, and Klemmer has heeded the advice.
“I’ll never change the competitiveness. That’ll never go,” he said.
“I’ve just got to be smarter with my decisions. During those heated moments, just be smarter around those situations. That will come as I get older.”
The 22-year-old Klemmer also revealed he was close to signing an extension to stay on at the club.
One of a number of Bulldogs to come off-contract at the end of the season, including fellow rep star Josh Jackson, the Australian representative has been pursued by a number of clubs over the summer.
However the All Saints Toongabbie junior gave no indication he has seriously considered leaving Belmore.
“Very close,” he said when asked about an announcement on his future.
“Me and the club are working our way through it. It’s very exciting. I get to discuss my future plans and look after my family. That’s my number one priority. It’s been so far, so good.
“(Interest) was there, but there’s no way I’d leave here. I just couldn’t leave here. But if circumstances had to come, I have to look after my family.”