The Dyldam Parramatta Eels are excited to welcome Will Hopoate to the club, after he returned to Sydney this week after two years as a missionary with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Will was all smiles when speaking to the media about finally joining the club he signed with two years ago - and says hes very eager to get stuck into training.


Itll definitely be a challenge, but its a challenge Im looking forward to - I know its going to take hard work but Im willing to put in the hard work, Will said.


Over the past two years I havent seen any footy, so Im really eager to see a bit and get holding a ball, passing a ball, Im excited.


Will flew back into Sydney yesterday afternoon, where he was greeted by a large crowd of family and friends.


It all feels surreal - I was very grateful to see my family yesterday and meet with family and friends that I havent seen in awhile, he said.


And its a blessing to be here this morning and meet with Brad and the coaching staff; Im very excited, nervous, and looking forward to it at the same time.


Speaking of his missionary work, Will says he feels privileged to have been able to experience it and serve the community.


I definitely feel a lot more self-reliant, but in saying that there are still a lot of things I need to learn - I feel mentally stronger but I know theres a lot more strength I need to acquire, he said.


But [footy] is part of my blood, its the sport I grew up playing and I did miss it, but I also loved what I was doing so it was a win-win situation for myself, being a part of missionary work and coming back to this.


Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has previously indicated theres no pressure being placed on Will, acknowledging a return to peak physical condition will take some time.


But 21 year-old Will says hes determined to reach his previous form, which included playing State of Origin in 2011.


I think the schedule [will take some getting used to] - we had a schedule as missionaries that we followed strictly, with studies and knocking on doors, but adjusting the body into the footy schedule will be something that will take a while to get used to!


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