Born to play

SOME men are born to play football, and Matt Srama is one of them, according to Gold Coast Titans coach John Cartwright.

The 20-year-old will wear the Titans’ No.9 jersey for the first time against Penrith Panthers on Saturday, after impressing in his surprise debut against the Bulldogs at the weekend.

Cartwright rated Srama the club’s best in that game in his full 80-minute performance.

“He deserves to be there and in my opinion he was our best player the other night,” Cartwright said.

“While ever he’s doing that there’ll be a place in first grade for him.

"It’s a tough position to play and not many guys in the game at the moment can do it for 80 minutes, even the guys that have been there a long time.

"So for a lot of reasons, if we had’ve won the game I’m sure Matty would have got more headlines out of it.”

Srama got through plenty of work against the Bulldogs, making 36 tackles, plus making 120 metres from 14 runs, with an offload thrown in.

He was composed and mature beyond his years, showing promising signs with the hooker’s role almost certainly his upon Nathan Friend’s departure at season’s end.

“I think he is just born to play football, I think ... the general benchmark is between 50 and 100 games before you become a seasoned first grader,” Cartwright said.

“I am not saying Matty is there yet, but you can only go on what you have seen, and what we saw the other night – his composure, his energy, fitness and his ability to keep up with the game even though he is tired – you don’t see that in many individuals.”

With Friend injured, Srama’s extra game time this year will be to the Titans’ benefit in 2012.

“It is like anyone, the more first grade they can play, the better they get and the quicker they get there,” Cartwright said.

“There are opportunities there for him now, he has cracked it into the first grade, he has held on to his spot. It gets harder and harder, but the first signs are great.”

The Titans’ season isn’t over yet, Cartwright says.

He just wants to see more consistency in his side and says that success will follow.

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