Dyldam Parramatta Eels new recruit Kieran Foran fronted the media for the first time of pre-season this morning, and the new Blue and Gold half was focussed on doing one thing, knuckling down at training and getting fit and strong with the rest of his team.
Foran joins the Eels after beginning his career at Manly, and the half was excited to pull on the new colours.
“It feels good, a little bit different to the maroon and white but really excited. It was a bit different trying them on for the first time but really excited about the change and looking forward to it.” Foran said.
“I was excited by watching a few of the boys games this season. I think it has been a squad that has obviously been building for a couple of years now,” Foran added.
With the change of club, comes the pressure associated with the move.
Parramatta’s history of halfbacks has been highly discussed in the media, and after Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur confirmed Foran will play in the seven jersey, Foran stressed the pressure of the challenge of playing halfback was not getting him.
“There is pressure with anything, but I am just here to do my job and I just want to rip in with pre-season and get fit and strong and go from there,” Foran said.
“We haven’t even discussed it too much [halfback], we haven’t really gotten on to ball work, but my role at the moment is just striking up a combination with Corey and we will go from there.”
“I am always up for a challenge and it’s something that I wouldn’t say no to, but at the moment it’s about getting fit and strong and knuckling down. I am sure once we get into the ball work, we will sort out where we want to play and how Brad wants us to do things.” Foran added of playing in the seven.
Along with the pressure from the media to fill the number seven jersey, there is the expectation from the Blue and Gold fans for Foran to bring immediate success.
“There is pressure with anything you do and any club you go to.” Foran said.
“We are just focussed on our jobs and once Round One rolls around we will assess it then.”
“I haven’t even looked at it [media talk and pressure]. We are a really strong club here and focused on doing our jobs here, ripping in and getting really strong together.” Foran added.
And with recent media discussion of Eels captaincy, Foran said it would be hard to take the position, given Mannah’s job over the past few years.
“Tim has done a great job over the years, has been a tremendous leader, and I have no doubt that Tim will take the reins again,” Foran said.
“My role at the moment is just to fit in here and get to know everyone, focus on doing my job and just getting amongst the boys and knuckling down. I am not even looking that far ahead I am just focused on getting myself fit and strong and getting my injuries over with.”
Making the move to the Eels is an exciting one for Foran, who is looking forward to re-uniting and playing behind the tough forwards in Anthony Watmough and Beau Scott.
“When I came through the Manly ranks, Choc was a big leader of that team, and sort of brought me through there and I am excited about teaming up with him again,” Foran said.
“He is a fierce competitor, and a fierce leader, and the one bloke you want on your team and the bloke you want beside you on the field. He never lets you down and I am sure he is going to take his game to another level this year and the boys will just follow him.” He added.
“Beau comes with heaps of experience and is a hard head, everyone knows that,” Foran said of Scott.
“He is full of intent and I think he will add a really hard edge to our forward pack and I am sure him and Choc will go about their business like they have done for so many years.”
Along with re-uniting with his former teammate, Foran was also enjoying his time working under Head Coach Brad Arthur, whom he had a great connection with at his former club.
“It is great to be back with him. I thoroughly enjoyed my time when he was Assistant Coach at Manly and it was always something I knew that I would like to play under him and I guess when he came over here, it became an option for me,” Foran said.
“He has always been a great leader, and a great talker. It is only my first week back here, so I haven’t been able to see too much of what he has been able to do, but I am sure over the coming weeks I’ll get an idea.”