Latrell doesn't need my help: Gordon
Michael Gordon says he'd happily mentor Roosters young gun Latrell Mitchell and teach him about fullback play, but after meeting the Taree junior, doesn't think that will be necessary.
The 33-year-old joined the Tricolours on a one-year deal and is expected to play a role similar to the one Anthony Minichiello had in 2013 and 2014 when he groomed then Rooster Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for the fullback spot.
It's the second year in a row the 203-game veteran has had the opportunity to play alongside a star of the future. In 2016, Gordon saw firsthand the freakish skill of Bevan French at the Eels as he scored 19 tries from just 13 appearances.
Gordon quickly deflected any notion that he had directly influenced French's ascension to NRL stardom, telling media on Tuesday that his input wasn't as profound as many people gave him credit for.
"It would just be a conversation here or there, or just talking at training, or off the field or that sort of thing. It was never a serious role or anything like that. It was more just having a chat and just talking about life more than anything," he said.
And that's exactly what he's expecting next year with Latrell Mitchell; a player he believes has all the talent to take his game to scary heights.
The 19-year-old defied the odds to play all 24 games for the Roosters in 2016 in a year that saw him shift between wing and fullback, and while Gordon's experience will be invaluable, the man himself doesn't believe he will have much to do.
"You have a look at him walking around and he's a pretty confident kid. He's a lot bigger than I thought, too," Gordon said.
"He's certainly got all the skills and the talent in the world. He's obviously in the right place for him to take advantage of it.
"He had an outstanding season, and if I can pass anything onto him then I'm more than happy to. But I'll probably be going to him for some tips, I think. The young fellas have got all the skills these days.
"I'm just really excited because there are so many good players here and so many good staff involved."
Following stints at the Panthers, Sharks and Eels, Gordon is preparing for his 12th season in the NRL, and is embracing the battle for a spot in Trent Robinson's back three.
He revealed there was a chance for him to extend his stay at Parramatta for another season, but decided a fresh start would be his best move.
"I've come here with no guarantees. My plan was to come here and work hard and try to earn any jersey I can. I've always taken that approach and it's no different this year," he said.
"In the end I made the decision to leave [the Eels]. There was a chance of staying there, but there were so many dramas happening at the time – and I know Brad (Eels coach Brad Arthur) was keen for me to stay – but in the end I sort of had to look after myself.
"I don't want to be one that's changing clubs all the time. I'm loyal as anyone, and I've just got to do what I can, and I felt like there was a really good opportunity here.
"When a club like this comes and has a chat with you, it makes you feel better about yourself for sure. That's why I wanted to come here with no expectations, but just to work hard and show them that I'm worthy of being here."
This video first appeared on roosters.com.au