Dyldam Parramata Eels new recruit Matthew Woods says the past two months of pre-season training have been physically demanding, however the young twenty year old has been rising to the challenge and enjoying every minute of it.
Woods made the move from the Wests Tigers at the conclusion of the 2015 season and the young forward is rising to the challenge in prepartion for his first grade debut, whenever it may come.
"The pre-season has been challenging. It has been physically tough so far and they have been putting us to the test but so far I feel like I have been able to overcome it and I am really enjoying it," Woods said.
"Obviously it is a step up from the Under 20s. Twenties was tough, but this has been a real step up and physically challenging," he added.
"I am just getting physically my body ready for hopefully a step up into first grade one day."
For Woods, who was named in the NSW Under 20s State of Origin squad and played in the Wests Tigers Holden Cup side, the opportunity to work at a new club and under Head Coach Brad Arthur was something that made the decision to move to the Blue and Gold easier.
"The opportunity came up to make the move I had a chat with Brad Arthur and had a look around at the facilities here and I liked where the club was going and the nice facilities." Woods said.
"Brad is really tough but fair and he tells you like it is. I like the honesty and his straight up approach which is good for me."
Along with a new Head Coach, Woods has been relishing the opportunity to work alongside some experienced forwards in Beau Scott and Anthony Watmough and challenge himself against a forward pack with plenty of depth.
"Everyday the expereinced forwards [Scott and Watmough] have something extra to say and help me tip up on something and the most I can do is just listen and try and learn the most off that," Woods said.
"There is a lot of good young talent here and I am just trying to work hard, train hard and obviously do the best that I can do and see if the coaches notice that and go from there," he added.