Once upon a time, Wests Tigers would have never believed that Aaron Woods would leave the club but fast forward to the present and that day has arisen, as the hulking prop signs a four-year deal with the Canterbury Bulldogs.
The deal will see Woods at the Bulldogs until the end of the 2021 season in what is a welcome addition to the Bulldogs pack in light of potential departures.
Dally M Prop of the Year in 2015, Woods has played for both Australia and New South Wales as the club is excited to have him on board from the 2018 season.
“Aaron is an outstanding footballer who has played at the highest level and is someone who will bring both experience and leadership to the Bulldogs,” said CEO Raelene Castle.
“Equally, he is a quality human being and somehow who I know will fit into the culture of a club with strong family values.
“We wish him all the best for the rest of the season with the Tigers and look forward to him joining us at the end of the season.”
Equally pleased is coach Des Hasler, who used the Woods signing as a major drawcard in his bid to remain coach of the club.
“Aaron will bring a great deal to the Bulldogs, both on and off the field. He is proven at both the international and state arenas and that level of experience will be most valuable to our club.”
Tigers fans are bitterly disappointed that Woods has made such a decision, prompting some to boo him when he ran onto the field at Leichhardt Oval this week.
With 133 games to his name as Tiger since he made his debut in 2011, the club admit that whilst they are disappointed to see him leave, they wish him the best in his future endeavours.
“On behalf of everyone at Wests Tigers, I’d like to thank Aaron for the way that he has represented the club over the last seven seasons,” said Wests Tigers Chair, Marina Go. “He has led from the front every time that he has pulled on the Wests Tigers jersey and continually inspired those around him.
“He has led from the front every time that he has pulled on the Wests Tigers jersey and continually inspired those around him.
“Since taking on the Captaincy last season, Aaron has further developed and has become a great role model to his teammates and all at Wests Tigers.”
“While we’re incredibly disappointed that Aaron will be leaving Wests Tigers at the end of the season, we wish him well in the future and look forward to supporting him as a Wests Tigers player for the remainder of this year,” she added.
Woods also drew praise from club CEO Justin Pascoe for the way he led the club as captain.
“Personally, I’d like to take this chance to thank Aaron for the way he has led this club, said Pascoe. “He has led from the front every time he has taken to the field and has been a great player for this club for a long time now.
“He has led from the front every time he has taken to the field and has been a great player for this club for a long time now.”
Admitting that it was a tough decision for the prop, Pascoe respects the decision that Woods has made on behalf of his he and his family.
“It was obviously a tough decision for Aaron and he has made the decision in the best interest of his family and himself and as a club, we completely respect that and wish him all the best in the future,” said Pascoe.
“I’m sure that Aaron will continue to put everything into his performances for Wests Tigers for the remainder of 2017 and we look forward to giving him the respectful farewell he deserves.”