One of the Eels star performers in the Holden Cup side this year, talented utility Ryan Matterson made a decision he regarded as simple, re-signing with the Eels for a further three seasons.
Currently the captain of the U20’s side, Matterson’s utility value has seen him cover the five-eighth role, as well as the back-row and lock. Of late, five-eighth has been his predominant position.
With the Eels sporting one of the largest junior bases in the NRL, their priority is to retain as many key youngsters as possible and securing the services of Matterson on a new long-term deal is a sign of their commitment towards junior retention.
â€œOne of our clubâ€™s key strategic aims is to retain our top talent and to build the best junior pathway in the NRL,â€ Eels CEO Scott Seward said.
â€œTodayâ€™s announcement demonstrates that commitment because we have seen Ryan successfully progress through our development program over the past few years, and securing him on a long-term deal is a great boost for the club.â€
The form Matterson has shown this year saw him rewarded with a call-up to the NSW Under 20’s side and a stint with the Eels NSW Cup side, the Wentwortville Magpies, to gauge where he is at as a player.
Being a Parramatta local and junior, there was no other club Matterson would rather play at.
â€œIt means the world to stay here, Iâ€™ve always grown up around the Parramatta area and seen the players out and about, and theyâ€™ve given me an aspiration to follow in their footsteps,â€ Matterson said.
With a big turnaround across the board, Matterson gives a lot of the credit to first-grade coach Brad Arthur, who has transformed the Eels organization.
â€œBrad [Arthur]â€™s a really good coach, he brings out the best in everyone and thereâ€™s a really positive vibe around the club, and thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m looking forward to for the next three years,” said Matterson.