Giving up booze during season has tee-totally helped my career, says Bradford Bulls ace Walker (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Giving up booze during season has tee-totally helped my career, says Bradford Bulls ace Chev Walker
Over 14 years have passed since Chev Walker made his Super League debut for Leeds as a 16-year-old in August 1999.
As he gears up for his latest campaign, the Bulls star’s desire to perform remains as strong as ever.
The 31-year-old’s days as a fleet-footed winger or centre may be over but he has successfully reinvented himself as a forward and performed admirably in the front and back row last season.
Although he is currently working his way back towards full fitness after minor knee surgery, the former Rhinos star should be ready for the start of the new campaign.
And he is unequivocal about where he is aiming to be in Francis Cummins’ pecking order.
“I don’t want to be coming off the bench – I want to start games,” said Walker.
“Those two have been outstanding in pre-season and, as it stands, I’m probably third in line to get a jumper in the middle.
“But my aim is to make sure that by the time the season comes around I’m pushing to start.
“As long as I get the little things right, and I’m on target to be doing that, then hopefully I’ll get that starting jersey.”
Walker made a blistering start to last season as the Bulls found themselves in third place in mid-April.
He made 23 appearances in total last term, earning a new one-year deal which could be extended for a further season.
And he believes one of the major reasons behind his flying start is his decision not to drink alcohol during the season.
He said: “I had a drink to celebrate my wedding anniversary and with my friends on Boxing Day but, come the start of this season, I’ll go dry again.
“I just think it helps with your recovery and not drinking allows you to have a clear mind.
“You’re not coming in on the Monday or Tuesday feeling a little bit groggy.
“When you’ve not been drinking, you’re fresh and ready to go every time.
“So yes, I’ll be dry until the end of the year and then hopefully we’ll have something to celebrate.”
Walker also hopes to be celebrating an extension to his stay at Odsal.
“I’ve got a one-year deal and I have to hit some targets to get that into the season after," he said.
“I’ve sat down with the physios and with Franny and I’m planning on doing that.
“I’ll do my bit to reach those goals and if I do that well then the team will benefit too.
“I’d love to be here in 2015. I’ve said it before, it’s the only club that I’ve really felt part of and I can honestly say I really enjoy coming into work every day.
“Even with all the stuff that goes on off the field, it doesn’t make any difference to us as a group.
“Obviously you have your concerns but collectively we are all strong-minded and we’re looking to crack on.”
Walker admits improving his defence is a priority next season, adding: “I was up there with the top missed tackles last year.
“It’s a bit different defending in the middle to the edges,
“The coaching staff haven’t been hard on me because I was probably over-keen and that’s what made me miss the tackles.
“I need to get my contact right and go from there. I know where I want to be and how I want to perform.
“As long as I’m playing and I’m offering something to the team then I’ll be happy.”
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