Mateo determined to honour Manly deal

Manly forward Feleti Mateo says he wants to honour the final year of his deal on the northern beaches in 2016 despite the emergence of reports suggesting he is one of a host of players set to be moved on by the club.

 

Channel Nine reported on Tuesday night that Mateo – who was granted a release from the final two years of his Warriors deal to join Manly for 2015-16 – would be told to look for a new club in 2016 along with 13 other squad members.

Mateo on Wednesday said he has left contractual talks with his manager and is hoping to play some good football for the remainder of 2015 and hopes to stay for the final year of his deal next year.

He said he felt like he'd found a home on the northern beaches.

"There are people that believe in me, coaching staff and players that I've looked up to and been excited to play alongside. So far we haven't had the results we wanted but I'm definitely enjoying my footy," he said.

"That [situation] is out of my control, in saying that if I play good footy those conversations go away, it is what it is, all I can do is play good footy. 

"Everything I do is through my manger, I like to keep that stuff personal, for me it's about playing footy and trying to play as good as I can."

Mateo wouldn't confirm whether he'd heard anything concrete from the club or through his manager.

"I have one more year left on my contract and I want to honour that. My manager and I will sort out the rest of it, what's being said and rumours and whatever when the time is right," he said.

"I have one more year left and like I said I want to honour that, I love the club, I love the place and what the club's done for me so far, I just hope I can play good footy so those sort of conversations go away."

Mateo lamented a series of injuries that had interrupted his season and those of many teammates so far in 2015, restricting him to just 12 of 17 games, while injuries to other players had also forced him to shuffle between the halves and forward pack.

"I thought I started [the year] off pretty good; I've been plagued by injuries this year, it's been pretty tough," he said.

"The whole club's been hit with injuries so it's been hard for myself to create combos with people. We're slowly getting people back on the park and now it's about getting results.

"[This year] has been full of chaos to say the least. It started off with our halves [Cherry-Evans and Foran's contract talks] and now this. We've been faced with a bit of adversity this year and I think those sorts of things just bring the team closer together."

Mateo said he had learned since joining the club just how close-knit the playing group is.

"From looking outside in before I got here it always looked like a tight group and that's something that I can confirm. The boys are really tight.

"I haven't had much to do with management here, I've just been sticking to my footy... all I can speak on is the boys here and I can say that they're really tight."

Mateo's teammate, winger Jorge Taufua, who is not one of the players reported to be on the chopping block, said he hadn't heard anything about the list of players until he got to training on Wednesday.

"To be honest this is the first I've heard of it. As everyone knows I'm the last to hear about everything here. I sort of live under a rock, I just turn up to training here. It's not nice to hear but I don't know the full story," Taufua said.

"That happens, we haven't been going that well this year and changes probably have to be made."

Outside back Peta Hiku said he was aware of the talk but hoped that nothing came of it and that most of the playing group could stay together next year.

"Pretty disappointed [to hear] that a couple of my mates are leaving with what's been said. Hopefully nothing happens, I'd love to play along with everyone next year," he said.