Eels recruit gets taste of Parramatta
In terms of first impressions of the new place that you will call home Jamal Fogarty walked into ANZ Stadium and had the roof fall in on him, but the new Eels half is determined to make plenty of happy memories at the ground in future.
Fogarty captained the Burleigh Bears in the Intrust Super Championship on Sunday but had an inauspicious start in his first outing at the place Parramatta will call home, the Illawarra Cutters dishing out a 54-12 hiding to claim the mantle as national champs.
With Pirtek Stadium undergoing a $300 million redevelopment Parramatta will play their home games at ANZ Stadium over the next three seasons and Fogarty is determined to play his way into the team as Corey Norman's halves partner.
The former Titans under-20s star was one of the Intrust Super Cup's best performers in 2016, finishing second on the top point-scorer's list and steering Burleigh to a first premiership in a decade with a composed second half in particular against Redcliffe in the grand final.
The 22-year-old will move down to Sydney later this month with his partner and two young daughters ahead of pre-season training and said he wants to hit the ground running when Brad Arthur's men reassemble to begin their 2017 campaign.
"Their stadium's getting renovated so this will be our home ground if I get a game," Fogarty told NRL.com in the wake of Burleigh's loss to the Cutters.
"I'm just trying to stay injury free and in good shape so when I come down I can give it a real good shake.
"I got a little glimpse of Parramatta because we stayed there last night and it's not a bad little place and I'm sure I'll get used to it.
"That's why we play footy, because you want to own your role and you want to play to your style.
"If I get an opportunity I'll definitely grab it and hopefully they will like the style I play."
Disappointed to end a successful season on such a note on Sunday, Fogarty said what hurt him the most was that the Bears produced their worst game of the season when 80,000 people were filing into the ground and millions more were watching at home.
"It's probably a day to forget to be honest," Fogarty said as he cradled his young daughter.
"We play good all year and we came down here and probably played our worst game by far.
"What hurts the most is letting our best mates down. The scoreline blew out very quick and to look at the boys beside you that you call your brothers, just to see the disappointment on their face...
"We haven't seen that all year. So the look on the boys' faces was real disappointing.
"I couldn't ask for a better effort. We let ourselves down today but we've been playing outstanding for the 28 weeks since the start of the season.
"I couldn't be more prouder of the boys. We did everything we could [against Illawarra] and unfortunately we just weren't the better team."