Matt Ryan

He could have remained a Wests Tigers player, had more opportunities come his way, but that was not to be the case –as Matt Ryan moved to the Parramatta Eels, in search of greener pastures.

Those pastures have since made themselves known, as Matt Ryan has found himself playing first-grade for the Eels, as he looks to defeat the team that he was a junior at, and the team that his housemate in Tim Moltzen, is playing for.

Ryan was as big a Tigers fan as they come – playing for the North Ryde Hawks before playing for Balmain at the junior level, though first-grade at the Tigers just eluded him.

It was then that the opportunity to join the Eels arose, one that meant he would have more of a chance at first-grade – so Ryan jumped at the chance.

“I did not get into the full-time training, and Parramatta gave me an opportunity to go across there and be coached by Mooks (former Eels coach Stephen Kearney), “Ryan said.

“I could not say no. I always knew, in the back of my mind, that I was never really in the [Tigers] plans. They had a good quality back-row there, but I just had to go somewhere for a challenge, and change my attitude a bit.”

“I thought I might be holding myself back if I had stayed”.

Moltzen and Ryan, now housemates, met after they both left school, finding themselves in the Tigers apprenticeship scheme, and even Moltzen knew that Ryan needed a change in his footy life.

“He had a bright future, but it never really happened for him,” said Moltzen.

Moltzen knows just what his housemate and friend is capable of on the footy field, and is expecting Ryan to have a stellar game on Monday night.

“He ended up getting their man of the match and scoring a try. I am sure he will be pumped for Monday night’,” Moltzen said.
For one night only, they are both enemies despite being friends, and Ryan admits that he did try to get under Moltzen’s skin in their Rd 8 clash.

“I know what annoys him,” Ryan said.

With the stakes high – the Eels avoiding the spoon, and the Tigers chasing a finals berth, Moltzen knows that the Eels have nothing to lose.

“They are under a lot more pressure than we are. We want to try and disrupt their season,” Moltzen said.

Tim Moltzen

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