As NRL News released information around Feleti Mateo and his possible move away from the Eels next year, media outlets pounced on the Parramatta club and CEO Paul Osborne to get additional information around the ball playing star.
Will Mateo be leaving? Is this just a rumour?
At this stage, take it as absolute gospel – Feleti Mateo wants out of the Parramatta Eels as early as possible. While the talented star has a year remaining on his contract, he has told family and insiders at the Bulldogs that he would happily join the club if a release could be secured from Parramatta.
Out of luck during 2009, the pressure poured on Mateo at the start of the year when he was thrown the pivot role following Jarryd Hayne moving to fullback – was a telling blow. Shortly after, Mateo suffered a serious injury and was forced out for 12 weeks. On top of this, it seems the style of new coach Daniel Anderson may not be 100% suited to Mateo; while this cannot be confirmed – it seems to be another factor in the overall scheme of things.
While the Eels continue to insist that Mateo won’t be released, a player not happy is sure to provide a pain point for the in-form club. There is no doubting the ability of Feleti, however he is a genuine star and cannot be left in the background playing park football. Adding to the pressure is the size of the contract being paid to Mateo, the Eels have recruited well for 2010 and will no doubt have some salary cap pressure.
Offloading Mateo would solve that problem very quickly.
So at this stage, unless Mateo returns and supremely enjoys his time on the football field – you will almost certainly see him leave Parramatta at years end.
It seems that the resurgent Parramatta Eels club are not only playing for their 2009 NRL survival and finals quest, they are also playing for the chance to keep the talented Mateo at their club for 2010. If things go well, Mateo might be only too keen to take another year in the Golden West.