Paul McGregor expects Corey Norman to have a point to prove after he was "forced to leave" Parramatta, but coaching counterpart Brad Arthur sees both clubs benefiting from the playmaker's high-profile move to St George Illawarra.
A 30,000-strong sell-out crowd is anticipated for Norman's first clash with his old Eels teammates at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday, less than six months after a drawn-out exit from the blue and gold.
Wrangles over relatively minor finances delayed Norman's release from the last year of his Eels deal, while then-halves partner Mitchell Moses was also told he was free to take his services elsewhere, such was Parramatta's desire to split the pair.
McGregor no doubt had those conversations in mind when asked if Norman would carry added motivation for the Dragons.
"I've never played against a former club so I don't know the experience but I certainly know when players have come up against their old clubs, especially when they've been moved for different purposes, they have a point to prove," McGregor said on Saturday.
"He was one of those players that got forced to leave and probably didn't want to.
"He's motivated because he's at a new club and he wants to prove the club he's gone to is the right choice."
Eels v Dragons - Round 8
Understandably Arthur was more pragmatic when posed the same question, pointing to the improved form of both halves following last year's wooden spoon.
Norman has booted two match-winning field goals in his first two months at the Dragons while Moses has five try assists and 55 points (fifth in the NRL) to his name going into the clash.
"Not everything goes to plan and I know it didn't [in 2018]," Arthur said.
"He had better opportunities so we're happy for Normy and it's worked out for both clubs. It's just what it is.
"It's hard to have two dominant playmakers that both want to control the team so it's worked out well for the Dragons and for Parramatta.
"We knew throughout [last] year, we were struggling in that area."
Arthur added that Moses was now "enjoying the extra responsibility" that comes with being the dominant playmaker in combination with 20-year-old Jaeman Salmon.
Along with skipper Clint Gutherson, Moses is the most high-profile of 14 off-contract Eels that have attracted endless headlines over their contract negotiations.
Both stars currently have three-year offers before them, with Gutherson on record wanting an extra season's security from the Eels.
NRL.com understands that talks with back-rower Manu Ma'u around a two-year extension are also progressing well and may be finalised by the end of May.
The scrutiny around the club's roster doesn't seem to be effecting morale, with Gutherson interrupting his coach's press conference shouting: "Are we going to win tomorrow Brad?"
To which Arthur responded: "If you have a go Clint, we will."
"Look, it's what it is. It's part of the game," Arthur said of the external focus on contract discussions.
"The pleasing thing is, the club is very keen to keep those players. The players want to stay.
"I'm sure something would be sorted out sooner than later. But it's always easier when both parties are comfortable with where it's at."
Eels captain Tim Mannah will sit out the clash with a foot injury that is not considered a long-term issue, with Kane Evans promoted to Parramatta's bench.