Norman denies Eels speculation
Parramatta Eels five-eighth Corey Norman has put to bed speculation over his future, adamant he is happy at the club largely because of his relationship with coach Brad Arthur.
An article published by NewsCorp last week reported tension was brewing between the star playmaker and his coach, adding that a rival NRL team already had plans in place to pounce should Norman look for the exit door.
However, the 26-year-old pivot insists there is no bad blood or a clash of personalities between he and Arthur, crediting the coach for his happiness at the Eels.
"Me and Brad have a very good relationship on and off the field," Norman told NRL.com during the club's four-day pre-season camp in Alice Springs.
"We can be honest with each other. We can disagree with each other. I think that's the best relationship – where we are straight and honest with each other.
"We're going to get benefits out of that. I'm more than happy here and it's because of that bloke, Brad Arthur."
The blue and gold playmaker has never been afraid to tell his coach when they don't see eye to eye, and Arthur doesn't hold back either. That's the relationship they've developed over their years together at the club.
Norman has openly spoken in the past about how he felt he let the coach down when he was suspended in 2016 after being caught in possession of illegal drugs, admitting in an interview with Fairfax Media earlier in the year that the coach "didn't speak to me for quite a bit there".
Yet they managed to work through that and last season put aside the disappointment to lead the Eels to their first finals series since 2009.
The speculation over their future has the potential to derail their 2018 campaign however Norman says he and the coach have discussed the recent reports, admitting they "had a laugh together" about it.
"I don't know where that comes from, to be honest," he said.
"I'm super happy. I think this is my fifth year here or my fourth year here. We're really starting to build a good team here and a good culture.
"My coach, he's a very good coach. I don't know where these stories come from. I'm very happy at Parramatta."