Dyldam Parramatta Eels new recruit Anthony Watmough says he’s excited to have a fresh start after signing with the Blue and Gold for the next four seasons.
Joining the club for the start of pre-season today, Watmough says while he was sad to leave his home at the Sea Eagles, he can’t wait to start training with the Eels.
“Yesterday was a bit surreal, sitting in a cafe in Surry Hills and realising they were about to announce it and it was all official, it was a little bit sad and I had to walk away from my manager and regroup, but it’s now become excitement,” Watmough said.
“It was a drawn-out process which I didn’t want, but my future is secured here at Parramatta.”
Watmough says the opportunity to work with Head Coach Brad Arthur, after previously training with him as an assistant at Manly, was too good to pass up.
“I’m excited about being here, trying to help the young kids and guide them in a direction, and if I can bring some of the winning culture we had at Manly and bring it here with Brad, that’s great,” he said.
“Funnily enough, I said to Brad if he ever gets a head coaching job I’d love to play under him because I’ve got the utmost respect for him as a coach and as a person.”
Watmough says he can see what Brad and the coaching staff are building at the club, and will enjoy bringing his experience to the club.
“I told our players [at Manly] last year when we played the Eels, don’t take them too lightly, they tackle hard and play hard,” he said.
“If you’ve got the right attitude you can go a long way in this game, and they’e got the right attitude under Brad, and they’re only going to keep growing.”
“And if I can be part of that in any way, I will; but I’ll be here and working my butt off like everyone else.”
Having played his final game in the ‘home’ sheds at Brookvale Oval, Watmough says he’s looking forward to heading back there as an arch-rival.
“It’ll be weird running out at Brookie, I’ve accepted the fact that when I played my [most recent] game at Brookie it would be my last, but as for being in the visitors’ sheds, I’ve had a few lunches there but never played there, so it’ll be weird,” he said.
“It’ll be a sad day but will be exciting to see the reaction of the people there, and all my mates there, if they boo me or cheer me!”