By Nathan Davis
St George Illawarra utility Jake Marketo is determined to make the most of his second opportunity with his former Club.
Marketo, 25, has re-signed with his former club after a two-year spell with Queensland Cup outfit the Redcliffe Dolphins.
The Holy Cross Rhinos junior admits he is focused on proving his merits for selection in any team line-up next season and is not taking his chance to return to first-grade action lightly.
“I’m very excited to be back here at the Dragons,” said Marketo.
“I’m looking forward to take the opportunity with both hands and really enjoying the preseason just far with the club and the team.
“Being in the Queensland Cup was a good experience.
“It was a bit different compared to playing down here, but I learned a lot and am looking forward to grow as a person and a player at the Dragons.
“Right now I’m focusing on getting myself ready for first-grade and am willing to show everyone that I can do whatever it takes.
“Even if I miss out of a place at the Dragons, and get into the Illawarra Cutters I will make sure I am doing right by the Club, the players and myself.”
The former Young Dragons captain considers this pre-season to be the toughest he has experienced and credits his fellow players for supporting him through it.
“Transitioning back was a lot easier than I thought it would be,” said Marketo.
“I thought it would take a few weeks but as soon as I got here I fitted back to where I was.
“I thank the boys for that, making it as comfortable as it has been and I’m looking forward to do the right thing by the club and the boys.
“The first two weeks were a bit nerve wracking and it was very hard for me but I’m starting to get my fitness back and Dean Young is really helping me build on my skills.
“Everyone is really working hard for each other.
“Everyone this year has really taken it upon themselves to really improve both themselves and the rest of the team.
“We are getting the best out of each other, we are all pushing together to perform in the trials and get a spot for round one.”