Dyldam Parramatta Eels prop Fuifui Moimoi says he’s proud to have taken on a mentoring role at the club, specifically to encourage and support the young Pacific Islanders coming through the side.
With plenty of young talent in our squad from players with Tongan and Samoan heritage, Moimoi is happy to set an example, as the oldest player int he NRL.
“It’s a great opportunity to be a leader for the young kids coming up, [players like] Peni Terepo, Pauli Pauli, Junior Paulo; there are heaps of young kids coming up,” Moimoi said.
“There’s a good future for the club, so hopefully they go in the right direction, and play a few more games for the club.”
Moimoi says having a strong cultural connection to the Islander players is essential to getting the best out of them, as can be seen through the likes of Kelepi Tanginoa and Peni Terepo.
“Some of the Islander kids, they don’t like to train, but to be around the new young kids coming up, they’re different from the others,” Moimoi said.
“They’re training hard and love the game, so there’s a big future for the club.”
Fui says he’s enjoying the 2014 pre-season with the return of Brad Arthur to the club - and the attitude he’s brought to the side.
“To have him back, he loves what he’s doing and puts a lot of effort into the club and the team,” he said.
“We learn a lot from him and I try to calm him down because he’s always angry!” he joked.
With new faces like Will Hopoate, Nathan Peats, Liam Foran and David Gower at the Eels in 2014, Moimoi says the side is starting to form great combinations for the season ahead.
“The first week is a bit hard, because you try and see how they are, but they’re all good players and good guys, we get along after the first day, so I’m looking forward to them getting on the field and playing some good footy.”