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Anasta close to retirement

Matt Encarnacion NRL.com Thu, Nov 28, 2013 - 2:55 PM

Braith Anasta says 2014 will probably be his final season in the NRL. Copyright:

Wests Tigers veteran Braith Anasta has conceded next season could be his final year in the NRL. 

Having spent the off-season playing for Greece where he tallied 46 individual points in a 90-0 whitewash over Hungary in Budapest, the former Rooster returned to Concord this week for what is likely to be his 15th and final pre-season. 

"I don't want to leave anything out there now at this stage of my career," Anasta said. 

"Whether I go on or not, I'll take it week by week. But the way I'm looking at it is I just want to go as hard as I can. I'm treating it as my last off-season. 

"I'll see how my body holds up. I'm feeling good but I just don't want to leave anything on the field. I just want to make sure that I'm going as hard as I can, give everything to the team and try and contribute as best I can."

Anasta, who turns 32 in January, said he would wait to make a final call but has already moved out a rule to England. 

"I'll see how I start the year and obviously see how the team's going, how my body is and all the rest," he said. 

"I think mentally too I'll see how my head is as well during the season but I'm not going to push it. I signed here on a two year deal pretty much thinking that could be it for me. 

"Last year was hard to gauge because I was injured so much and we had such a poor year. I don't really know how I'm going to be feeling this year so I'd rather just make a call on it after a few months of footy."

With club star Benji Marshall gone, coach Mick Potter is expected to lean heavily on the experienced Anasta as a foil for dynamic rookie Luke Brooks in a role the former Rooster said he would relish. 

 "That makes me feel like I've got a purpose here to be honest with you. Last year I was a bit lost," Anasta said. 

"So knowing that I've got a more senior role, knowing that we've got Lukey Brooks there, who's an integral part of our success this year because he's our number one halfback, we're going to depend on him a lot. 

"So I'm going to put a lot of my time into him, helping him and making sure he's as comfortable he can be to get the best football out of him as well. I suppose I do play a bit of a role in that and I'm going to enjoy that to be honest with you. Hopefully it brings the best out of myself as well."

Anasta described the Marshall-less start to the off-season as surreal and strange. 

"He was always the life of the party too and obviously a leader," Anasta said. 

"I've only been [back] a week, but it's like a new culture here really. It's a new beginning. There's a lot of young blokes and obviously it'll be a bit more normal when Robbie comes back, but we're going to miss him. 

"But also, it's an opportunity for the other kids and the other boys to stand up, be counted for, and probably play a different style of footy than we did when we had him. It gives us a chance to start afresh." 

Anasta has played 275 NRL games over 14 seasons with the Tigers, Roosters and the Bulldogs, whom he debuted with in 2000 and won a premiership with in 2004. 

He has played four Tests for Australia and represented NSW 10 times.