One-time Sydney Roosters’ star Mitchell Pearce hopes the Sydney fans still cheer him rather than jeer him when he travels with the Newcastle Knights to Allianz Stadium tomorrow night in the Telstra Premiership.
The Blues halfback made the high profile move up the M1 Pacific Motorway from the Bondi club in the off season, after the Roosters signed Cooper Cronk.
"I hope I don't get booed, I don't think I was that bad when I was there," Pearce joked.
Pearce insists he is committed to bringing home a hat-trick of wins for his new club, but said Sydney still holds a special place in his heart - with friendships made on and off the field at his former club.
“There is probably 6 or 7 of the boys at the Roosters who are some of my closest mates who I’ve been friends with for more than 10 years,” Pearce said.
“We’ve had a bit of banter throughout the week and I am just excited, and the Rooster boys are excited as well.
“They haven’t given too much away but I am sure there will be a laugh at one point in the game.
“Playing against your mates always gives you plenty of extra motivation for sure.
“The Roosters are a team that’s been together a long time and I know how professional and well coached they are because I have been there.”
Despite the halfback's connection with several players still at the Roosters, he says he does not have many blueprints to pass on, admitting the game plan would have changed significantly since Cronk's arrival.
“Having a bit of an insight about a play here or there, but they’re now a new look side and they’re playing a lot more variation than they have played in the last few years,” Pearce said.
“But I am sure they (Roosters) know me more than I know them.
“I am sure that I’ll be copping plenty of knocks.”
The Roosters sit mid table with one win and one loss this season, and Pearce said his Queensland origin counterpart does not have anything to prove at his new club.
“Cooper Cronk has nothing to prove on his end as he one of the greatest halfback of the modern era and probably all time,” Pearce said.
“I have nothing but the most upmost respect for Cooper and I’ve stated that plenty of times.
“He’s got nothing to prove in the back end of his career as everyone knows what a player he is.”
The match kicks off at 630pm with plenty of red and blue supporters expected to make the journey down to Allianz Stadium.
Roosters v Knights