He has been through the wringer but did not let that deter him from fulfilling a dream – to play NRL. After a man-of-the-match performance in Rd 1, the Parramatta Eels have acted swiftly to secure the services of back-rower Manu Ma’u.
With club and player agreeing to a contract extension, Ma’u had to fight his way into the top grade. After a turbulent past that saw him spend three years in jail, hard work, resolve and determination have seen Ma’u rewarded with good things.
For the quietly spoken Ma’u, it was his team-mates that played a big role in his staying with the club and he thanked the fans for their support.
â€œI feel good – itâ€™s good to have my future secured here; the club had faith in me, and I want to give back to them,â€ Maâ€™u said.
â€œThe boys made it easy for me, and made me feel welcome; the boys, I love them.â€
What was also a spectacle for Ma’u was having the opportunity to run out on Pirtek Stadium – something he will always remember.
â€œI couldnâ€™t believe it, it was a dream come true to play NRL and finally pull on the Blue and Gold jersey,” said Ma’u.
Someone who has been impressed with Ma’u is Eels head coach Brad Arthur and he looks forward to working with the back-rower over the next couple of years.
â€œJust like the team Manu is looking to work hard, compete and improve with every game,â€ Arthur said.
â€œHe has been extremely committed this pre-season and I look forward to continuing to work with him into the future.â€