Sandow speaks on gambling problem
Troubled Eels halfback Chris Sandow has spoken for the first time since being treated for a gambling addiction that derailed his 2013 campaign.
Sandow, 25, played just 15 games last year before the club cut short his season and forced him to a rehabilitation clinic for three weeks in a bid to save his fledgling career.
The 2008 Rookie of the Year returned for pre-season last November and on Wednesday opened up on last year's struggles.
"[I'm] getting back to my eating habits, which I haven't been doing in the past," Sandow told parraeels.com.au.
"2013 was a bit up and down, gambling and stuff, but I'm on top of that which is really good, and changing the way I've been eating and presenting myself at training and off the field which is good."
Recruited from South Sydney to resurrect Parramatta's ailing fortunes in 2012, Sandow acknowledged his poor form since arriving and said he was grateful to still be playing NRL.
"I know I've been here at Parra a few seasons now, and I haven't done what I know I can do since I've been here, but I just have to put my head down and work really hard," Sandow said.
"It means a lot [to be playing NRL], being an indigenous person myself, and coming from a real small community. It's really big because it's all I ever wanted to do as a kid. So just to play one NRL game... and just playing NRL and seeing these guys every day, it's wonderful."
On Wednesday, coach Brad Arthur confirmed five-eighth Corey Norman would be the team's first-choice five-eighth, but said the halfback position was still up for grabs. Sandow faces competition from incumbent No.7 Luke Kelly, former Manly playmaker Liam Foran and youngsters Toby Evans and Zac Clay.
"We've been chopping and changing at training and trying a few different combinations. That's what trials will be for and the Nines," Arthur said.