Eels set to re-sign Jeff Robson

Parramatta have received a huge boost on the eve of their sudden-death clash with the Gold Coast this Friday night with halfback Jeff Robson poised to sign a new one-year deal with the club.<br><br>The unlikely success story of the Eels’ 2009 campaign, Robson was only called into the top squad following the mid-season departure of Brett Finch and injury to Kris Keating but has since played a key role in his side’s surge into premiership contention.<br><br>“Parramatta has made me an offer and I’m pretty happy with it,” Robson told NRL.com this morning.<br><br>“Hopefully I can put pen to paper and sort it out as soon as possible.<br><br>“I played my junior footy at Parra and it was good to come back. “This year has been great so I’d love to stay.”<br><br>The Eels have recruited strongly for next season with Justin Poore and Shane Shackleton set to bolster the forward pack and strike centre Timana Tahu returning after two years in rugby union.<br><br>Their pending arrival means the future of back-rower Todd Lowrie remains cloudy but chief executive Paul Osborne said the club had been reluctant to release Robson.<br><br>“He has done such a great job for Daniel (Anderson) this year… he has become an integral part of our squad,” Osborne said.<br><br>Robson’s is arguably the most remarkable story of 2009.<br><br>The 27-year-old had played just six first grade games in five seasons at Manly and returned home to Parramatta this year as third-choice halfback.<br><br>Even when he received a shock call-up against South Sydney in Round 11 it was supposed to be only a stop-gap measure, but his combination with rookie five-eighth Daniel Mortimer has since laid the foundation for the side’s finals push.<br><br>“I was signed as back-up and I thought I had a good chance of playing first grade but was never going to be a permanent fixture,” Robson recalled.<br><br>“If I played a handful of games I would have been really happy so to play 19 now has been unreal.<br><br>“I suppose you’ve just got to wait for your opportunity and I was lucky enough to get one this year.<br><br>“It’s been frustrating in the past.<br><br>“I’ve had some injuries that have held me back at times and, especially being a halfback, I think you need to get the opportunity to play a few games back to back to settle into the team.<br><br>“When I first came in I just tried to do my job to the best of my ability but over the last 10 games my confidence has gotten better and I think that has showed.”<br><br>Robson said that his only concern when coach Daniel Anderson called him into the 17 earlier this season was holding down his spot, yet he is now part of a Parramatta side that has won seven of their past eight games and starting to think about the most unlikely of grand final appearances.<br><br>Last Sunday’s stunning defeat of minor premiers St George Illawarra has thrown the title race wide open and, incredibly, the Eels will head into this week’s clash with the Gold Coast as overwhelming $1.30 favourites with TAB Sportsbet to continue their late run.<br><br>“I suppose everyone is a chance now,” Robson said. “It’s a pretty even competition.<br><br>“But we’re not going to get too far ahead of ourselves. <br><br>“We’ve got the Titans this week and they’re a pretty good team.<br><br>“It’s the same as last week for us – as long as we defend well and control what we do we’ll give them a shake.”