Dyldam Parramatta Eels new recruit Michael Jennings has spoken to the media for the first time since joining his new team and the centre opened up about making the decision to sign with the Blue and Gold, making the move from the Roosters.
For Jennings, it was all about what was best for himself and his family.
“I am just happy to be where I am at the moment. It’s a big challenge for myself, Jennings said.
“It was just a decision I had to make about my future between myself, my family and especially my wife. It was just a decision I had to make, and it was a hard one, but I had to do it for myself and my family,” he added.
“There’s a long term opportunity here, and to secure that, and get that this year is probably the main reason.”
Jennings has played with several current Blue and Gold squad Members including fellow new recruits Michael Gordon and Beau Scott, which made the decision to move to a new club that little bit easier.
“It is a strong roster and it’s good to see the signings they have had recently are for the better, which had an impact,” Jennings said.
“To see Kieran Foran, Michael Gordo and Beau Scott here, I’ve played a fair bit with 'Gordo' and some representative games with Beau, so it made it a lot easier when coming over."
Growing up as a Penrith junior, Jennings would of never imagined being in the Blue and Gold, however the outside back laughed about the fierce rivalry and competition that existed between the two clubs growing up.
“I wouldn’t of expected to be playing in these colours being a Penrith Junior, but that’s just the way it is now.” Jennings said.
“I laugh about it now, but that was just me as a young passionate boy. You had that rivalry playing for Harold Matthews and SG Ball and I look back at some of the comments, but it’s just funny now.”
“The rivalry is good for the fans, they love that, and as a player you enjoy that rivalry. It makes you motivated and just want to play your best footy.”
That rivalry will be on show with Jennings expected to pull on the Blue and Gold for the first time in the upcoming Eels trial against the Panthers.
“My first run won’t be at the Nines, it should be against Penrith in the Western Derby,” Jennings said.
“It will be good to just get out on the field and get that combination right with the rest of the team.”
Eels Pre-Season Trials
Saturday February 6-7 @ Eden Park, Auckland
- 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines
Saturday February 13 @ ANZAC Oval, Alice Springs
- Dyldam Parramatta Eels v Gold Coast Titans
Saturday February 20 @ Pepper Stadium
- Dyldam Parramatta Eels NYC v Penrith Panthers
- Wentworthvile Magpies NSW Cup v Penrith Panthers
- Dyldam Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers
Sunday February 21 @ Pirtek Stadium Top Field
- Blue and Gold Army Festival