This week has seen Australian captain Cameron Smith join esteemed company in winning the world Golden Boot award, acknowledging him as the best player in the world.
Beating England’s RLWC sensation Jermaine McGillvary, North Queensland Cowboy’s Jason Taumololo and Fiji’s winger Suliasi Vunivalu, 34 year old Smith led his Melbourne Storm team to NRL Grand Final success in 2017 as well as the Dally M award and will be hoping to add to his personal and domestic achievements on Saturday after guiding the Kangaroos to the RLWC final against England.
“It’s been a very successful year. I have been fortunate along the way and I owe it to my teammates,” Smith said following the announcement and, coupled with his 2007 edition of the award, he is now only the fourth player to win the Golden Boot multiple times alongside fellow Australians Andrew Johns (1999 and 2001), Darren Lockyer (2003 and 2006) and Johnathan Thurston (2011, 2013 and 2015). Fellow Melbourne and Kangaroos star Billy Slater views Smith as a worthy winner of the award, saying that “Cam has had one of his best seasons to date at 34 years of age.” The 2008 winner went on to highlight Smith’s ability and stated “he still does everything so easily and so effortlessly, he has such a great footy brain and seems to have more time than ever to do what he does best. Cam is by far the best footballer I have ever played with.”
An undoubted legend of the game, Smith was part of a trio of superstars at Melbourne alongside Slater and Aussie half back Cooper Cronk which has now started to be dismantled with the latter’s departure to Sydney Roosters and, while in the twilight of his career, the hooker hasn’t ruled out playing on beyond this weekend’s RLWC final and, if he does indeed carry on, there is no doubt at all that he will continue to deliver for whichever team he is representing such is his integrity and ability.
Who would bet against him guiding the Aussies to success this weekend against England to add more silverware to an already bulging personal store?