7 clubs in 6 years. Yes, you heard correctly – that is exactly the predicament that the football life of trouble young utility Arana Taumata has taken, and now, he is being given one final chance by the Panthers, to prove he has what it takes.
Being sacked from 6 previous clubs (Sydney Roosters, Canterbury Bulldogs, Wests Tigers, Melbourne Storm, North Queensland Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos), not to mention a recent incident involving a prescription for Valium at a pharmacy – he has one more chance.
With Taumata’s lawyer making the claim that anxiety and depression have played a part in Taumata’s career and life, many thought that the Panthers would continue the trend and rip his contract up – but Panthers General Manager Gus Gould is willing to give Taumata one final chance.
“Arana has been on a controlled program of rehabilitation for the past eight months and at this stage has been permitted to the second-tier program as part of that rehabilitation process,” Gould said.
”I’ve got to know Arana and his family extremely well during this process and both he and his family have worked hard to assist him. I’m hoping this story has a happy ending.”
His prior court appearance led to a ruling of an 18-month good behaviour bond, and by all reports, he has embraced this – and is making huge strides towards getting his life back on track.
“I don’t want to say too much only because I want to give the kid every opportunity,” Ayoub said.
“But I can say that he is back at the Panthers. He’s had a bit of a lay-off in the off-season to give him time to get away and to reflect on things and deal with some issues.
“He seems to have adequately done that and in the process, the Panthers, in their wisdom, have decided to give him an opportunity again. It’s great for him and I think really good on their part to show a bit of faith in the kid that they can see has done the right thing for the last three or four months.”
Ayoub also said that the deal is just a straight-out 1-year deal, with no behaviour clauses.
It’s just a basic one-year deal that has given him the opportunity to come back and try and resurrect his career,” he said.