Brown focusing on being number one

Mitch Brown is confident his strong performances at full-back during the 2010 Telstra Premiership finals series will hold him in good stead for the season kick-off in March.<br><br> The former Sharks utility played 20 matches in his first year at Wests Tigers and was a revelation in the number one jersey after previously shifting between wing and full-back.<br><br> A hamstring injury late in the season to mid-season signing Wade McKinnon saw coach Tim Sheens hand Brown the full-back role for the finals.<br><br> “I achieved more in 2010 than I did in the last few years. I never played semi-finals footy before and that was an unbelievable experience,’’ Brown said.<br><br> “The most fans I had ever run out in front of before the preliminary final against St George-Illawarra were around 20,000 so to run out onto ANZ Stadium in front of 72,000 fans was just the best feeling. It is one of the reasons why you play footy.”<br><br> Brown wants the full-back role and welcomes the challenge of fighting for the position along with McKinnon and utility Tim Moltzen.<br><br> “It was good to play full-back during the finals and actually be working hard practising in that position at training,’’ Brown said.<br><br> “Playing in the one position enables you do the little things needed for each game and really practice them. When you are chopping and changing positions, you are practising slightly different skills at each session.<br><br> “By playing full-back, it enabled me to work hard on my catching and support play and being able to perfect it.”<br> Brown has been working hard on defusing the high kicks at training but says defusing bombs comes down to a matter of self belief and confidence. “If you keep saying to yourself that you are going to catch the ball no matter what, then you are more likely to do it,’’ Brown said.<br><br> “If you start thinking that the opposition is coming up and you might get hit or it is a big bomb, then you doubt yourself. You always have to be confident that you are going to take it. I guess it is hard if you drop the first ball, it plays on the back of the mind for the next one.<br><br> “At training last year, I was doing an extra 30 minutes after each session of just catching 60 bombs. I had (Assistant Coach) Peter Gentle, Benji Marshall and Robert Lui continuously putting bombs up to me.<br><br> "It made a difference during the finals in that because I did it so many times at training, it just came naturally and you put yourself into the right position.<br><br> “These days, teams have got plenty of attacking options to test a full-back out. You always have to be on your toes for the bombs, the chip kicks, the spiral kicks or the 40/20s."<br><br> Brown was one of 13 Wests Tigers players who last week made a special trip to Ipswich to help the victims of the Qld flood disaster.<br><br>