Undergoing an overhaul at all levels of the club, the Parramatta Eels were in need of some classy younger players to fill the gaps in their Holden Cup side and have found one of those players in the form of John Brady.
Brady, who is a Gunnedah junior, was recently the captain of the Redcliffe Colts side and until the opportunity with the Eels arose, he had just about given up on playing at a higher level.
â€œWhen I finished school, all I wanted was to get signed with the 20s,â€ Brady said.
â€œWhen that didnâ€™t happen, I was pretty disappointed.â€
Longing for the news to arrive for some time, Brady can remember the exact moment as to when he found out.
â€œI was shopping with my girlfriend when I got a call from my manager.
â€œHe said I had got an offer from Parramatta.
â€œI couldnâ€™t have been happier; I was so excited.â€
It was earlier this year that Brady joined the Colts side and he immediately impressed, as he was made club captain.
â€œIt was pretty shattering,â€ he said.
â€œWe won the major semi-final against the same side and then had the week off.
â€œWhen it came to the grand final, they got the jump on us early and we found it hard to come back.â€
Able to play at either five-eighth or halfback, Brady is the sort of player that loves to have the ball in his hands and he relishes the opportunity to play at the U20’s level.
â€œYou get to be a ball player and thatâ€™s what I like,â€ he said.
â€œYou get a lot of control on the game.
â€œYou call the shots and can be very influential on the final result.â€
The move to the Dolphins was not an easy one on Brady, as he was away from his family and friends, and he knows that whilst it is tough, it is a journey that will take a new turn.
â€œI was at boarding school at Farrer but moving to another state, itâ€™s a big shock,â€ he said.
â€œItâ€™s like starting all over again.â€
Keen to move down to Sydney and start a degree in physiotherapy, Brady will not be alone, with the Eels Education Officer – former player and club legend Luke Burt – expected to guide him and help him through the process.