In a move that has surprised many Manly Sea Eagles fans, the club has released hooker Matt Parcell who will take up a deal with SL side, the Leeds Rhinos.
Battling it out during the off-season with Apisai Koroisau for the hooker position, a decision was ultimately made to allow Parcell to move on.
The man himself thanked the Manly club and the opportunity to play for them after moving down from Queensland.
“I have nothing but respect for my team-mates and the coaching staff here at the Sea Eagles,” Parcell said.
“The club has been good to me since I moved down from Queensland and it was an honour to wear the great Manly colours. I wish Trent and the boys all the very best for 2017 and beyond.”
With the move now set in stone, Parcell says it is one that he looks forward to and he cannot wait to get started.
“I’m excited to have signed a deal with Leeds Rhinos,” said Parcell.
“After talking to Gary and Brian, I think the brand of football they want to play is really going to suit my game.
“Playing in England has always been something that I have wanted to do and I’m looking forward to the move.”
Manly’s Head of Football Bob Fulton negotiated the deal that allowed Parcell to leave and wished him all the best, as well as highlighting the potential for future partnerships with the Rhinos.
“Manly have great respect for Gary Hetherington and the Rhinos,” said Fulton. They are a professionally run club and the Rhinos will be a good fit for Matt Parcell who is a young player starting out on his career,’’ Fulton said.
“We are well off for hookers and this gives Matt a wonderful opportunity at a great club. Hopefully it is the start of a long-term association between the clubs. The owners of the Sea Eagles, the Penn family, have great respect for the Rhinos.”
Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington thanked Manly for the fluidity of the negotiations and was pleased with the partnership between the two sides.
“Manly have been thoroughly professional in their dealings and Bob Fulton has shown great understanding in giving young Parcell an opportunity to ply his trade in England for the right reasons,” Hetherington said.
“We have enjoyed a good relationship with the management at the club which developed after our two World Club Challenge meetings and that has continued to develop since.”
Both clubs believe that their relationship will only strengthen moving forward.
“After speaking with Bob Fulton we both feel we can further strengthen our relationship in the future,” added Hetherington.
“We have had great success with players from Manly over the years with Cliffy Lyons regarded as one of the best players to play with both clubs and, in more recent seasons, former Manly junior Adam Cuthbertson has been one of our best forwards.”