Fresh start at Tigers for humble Tom
BY his own admission, it hasn't been the best of seasons for Parramatta Eel and former Blackwater Crushers junior Tom Humble.
If you were to add up the time Humble has spent sidelined through injury and suspension this year, chances are it would stack up greater than his total time actually playing football.
However it's now all water under the bridge for humble Tom, who last week signed a one-year deal with Wests Tigers in 2012.
A calf injury ruled the 22-year-old out for much of the early season with the Eels' feeder club Wentworthville Magpies.
The star utility's playing career was also overshadowed by a performance-enhancing drugs charge.
Humble and fellow Wentworthville player Brendan Oake tested positive to the banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine, an additive found in protein powders.
The pair was cleared by the NSWRL Anti Doping Tribunal earlier this year after it was established the substance had entered their system through no fault or negligence of their own.
Humble said he didn't t feel his reputation had been tarnished in any way by the suspension but was certainly relieved to be heading in a new direction with the Tigers next year.
"I knew I was innocent all along, so that's the result I was expecting," Humble said.
"I've enjoyed my time with the club, I've met some great mates and had some good times.
"It's been a frustrating start to the year with all that's happened so this will be a good change.
"I feel it's a fresh start."
The former Central Highlands youngster isn't pinning his ears back just yet with the Tigers, well versed in the knowledge his place with the club is still far from certain.
"I haven't got any big plans," Humble said.
"I'll just be trying to get my position in the Tigers' squad.
"That's my aim.
"I had been in talks with them (Tigers) for a couple of months.
"The one-year deal was just the offer we came up with."
Eels CEO Paul Osborne said Humble was playing with plenty of potential.
"He obviously had a tough start to the year with his supplement issue but he is a good kid and has been playing pretty well in the games I have seen," Osborne told southern media.
Humble said he was still holding on to hopes of returning to the Central Highlands, with a three-week break scheduled for the off-season.
The Wentworthville Magpies lost their opening final of the NSW Cup at the weekend, going down to Newtown Jets 34-29.
The Magpies face Cronulla Sharks in the play-off this weekend.