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Eels prop Junior Paulo.

If bad news sells then Junior Paulo plans to put the printers out of business, promising Brad Arthur he will "only be in the papers for the right reasons" as he returns to his old stomping ground.

Lured back to the Eels on a lucrative four-year deal, Paulo said he matured as a man and a footballer during his stint with Canberra.

Last time he wore the colours of his junior club, Paulo generated headlines both serious then stupid in equal measure.

First he was breaching his NRL contract by playing third-grade rugby under a false name, then earning himself a police warning after posting photos with accused bikies on his Instagram account.

By the last days of May 2016 he was shipped down to the Raiders to get him away from what was described at the time as "some distractions and elements".

Paulo's teammates old and new remember just like the rest of us, as does the 127-kilogram human wrecking ball.

"As soon as I got back the jokes were being cracked, third-grade rugby and whatnot," Paulo grins before sobering up per the topic at hand.

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"But I told BA, I'm only in the papers for the right reasons this year.

"I'm a more mature Junior Paulo than the Junior Paulo that left.

"I asked for my release from the Eels at a time that I needed to go. I wouldn't have made that decision without the club's blessing. I needed to find myself and find myself as a footballer as well.

"I was in the papers for the wrong reasons back then and that move to Canberra was the best one and most beneficial for myself and my family.

"I can't thank Canberra enough, they've helped me mature as a person on the field and off it".

Paulo has moved back to the Liverpool region in which he grew up, his partner Mele, two kids and another on the way all in close proximity to a doting extended family.

Parramatta's overtures last year surprised the big man, who was more than happy to take the Raiders up on the two-year deal they had tabled him.

No meet-and-greet was needed with Arthur; a frank phone call with his old coach was enough.

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And beyond that initial promise to toe the line, no reminder for Paulo either as to what's at stake over the next stage of his career.

"The opportunity came up with Parramatta and the decision came off the back of security and me having a young family," Paulo tells

"Being a good father, that's the big thing. There's things in my past that I wouldn't want my kids to see.

"But as a player and more so as a father, I'm looking to be a better role model for them.

"I always knew I would end up back in Sydney, I didn't know when but I'm grateful to get the opportunity and can't thank the Eels enough for keeping that faith and wanting me back.

"Being able to repay them, that's through having a big year this year and that's what I want to do."

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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