Aitken keen to take opportunities

Attack:Euan Aitkin believes to be strong in attack their defence must improve.Picture John Veage
Attack:Euan Aitkin believes to be strong in attack their defence must improve.Picture John Veage

Off contract St George Illawarra centre Euan Aitken believes he can regain representative form as he chases a new NRL deal.

Aitken has received interest from other clubs but wants to remain with the Dragons despite a frustrating 2019 season where St George Illawarra regularly played off the back foot,conceding too many points in their second half efforts.

Aitken told NRL.com that he just wants to do what he's capable of and if he does his best and it doesn't come his way,he will accept it.

"I felt like I had a lot more to offer, I just probably wasn't getting as many opportunities as I was used to in previous years - and that's a hard thing to take," Aitken said

"I've always got that strong self-belief that I can play great footy and I think it's just getting back to performing as a team and on the back of that I can perform."

For the Dragons to be strong in attack, Aitken knows their defence must improve,they conceded 23.9 points per game last year - only the last placed Titans fared worse.

Aitken said new assistant coach Shane Flanagan has already made a big difference to their structures, aggression and attitude without the ball and thinks Flanagan's combination with Dean Young are going to be their strength in their defence.

"I think he is going to be beneficial. It's another mind, who's coached a team to a premiership. So it's always going to be good having a different mindset there.

St George Illawarra toured bushfire-ravaged towns on the NSW South Coast including Batemans Bay, Narooma and Lake Conjola this week and its a cause close to the heart of Aitken, whose home of Pambula was affected by the blazes.

"Our home town didn't get hit as bad as other areas. It's very unfortunate but it's good to see all the positive influences throughout the community and see the Dragons putting on things to help donate money towards the victims that need it," Aitken said.

"They're obviously a catchment area for the Dragons and a rugby league area down there. They support us on the field, so it's time for us as a club to go and support them."

The Dragons have also joined forces with the Illawarra Hawks and Wollongong Wolves for a combined codes bushfire appeal golf day to be held on Monday February 3 at Wollongong Golf Course.