In perhaps their biggest signing to date and a huge signing for the Intrust Super Cup in general, the Northern Pride have secured the services of Irish international Tyrone McCarthy.
McCarthy, who has previously played for the Warrington Wolves in the English Super League most recently, captained the Irish rugby league side at the Rugby League World Cup and has been impressive in his career so far.
Someone who knows McCarthy well is current Pride coach Jason Demetriou, having played alongside the Irish international during his loan spell at Wakefield, as he looks forward to forming a strong connection once again.
â€œTyroneâ€™s a guy who has played 50-odd games of Super League at one of the biggest clubs in England,â€ Demetriou said.
â€œWhen I was over in the UK, I was fortunate enough to watch him and play with him, and Iâ€™m absolutely thrilled heâ€™s turned down the chance to stay in Super League for a new adventure at the Pride.
â€œI think heâ€™s been one of the stars of the World Cup, and his defensive work in particular at the weekend against the Kangaroos was outstanding.
Known for his crafty play and bringing out the best in other players, Demetriou expects to see the best out of McCarthy during his time at the Pride.
â€œIâ€™m expecting a certain level of quality from him and heâ€™ll offer real maturity and a strong voice to our current squad,” said Demetriou.
â€œHeâ€™s a very good carrier of the ball with excellent footwork, and is strong and aggressive in everything he does.â€
For McCarthy, whilst it was not an easy decision, he felt like it was the best one, as he made the decision to move to the Pride in order to further his career.
â€œI decided to leave my home town team, as I felt I needed to challenge myself in order to become a better player,â€ he said.
â€œAnd after speaking to Jason and seeing how the team has performed over the last year, I feel that the clubâ€™s environment will provide me with the best opportunity to do that.
â€œEveryone back home talks about the Australian game and the high standard it is played at, and I wanted to test myself in a tough competition like the Intrust Super Cup.
Knowing full well that despite his experience, that he is not guaranteed a spot, McCarthy knows that hard work is required and that he has to set goals and ambitions during his time at the club.
â€œI will be working hard in training, as I know I am not guaranteed a place in the team with the quality around, but hopefully I can get in there and get playing regularly.
â€œI have ambitions to test myself in the NRL, but I know that in order to achieve that I have to give everything and be focused on being successful with Northern Pride.
â€œI canâ€™t wait to get started and join the boys at training, as I am sure that more success will come the clubâ€™s way in 2014.â€
With the recent successful transition for other Englishmen to the NRL in full swing – such as the Burgess brothers, Gareth Ellis and James Graham – Demetriou believes that there is no reason as to why McCarthy cannot become a success in Australia as well.
â€œThe younger guys coming over from the UK have certainly found that playing over here can help their development, and that is whatâ€™s attractive for Tyrone,â€ said Demetriou.
â€œHeâ€™s an ambitious man, and the kind of character we want around our club.
â€œPride fans will love his style of footy, and I have no doubt heâ€™ll make a big impression as we go for the premiership in 2014.â€