Fans have been calling for a signing for quite some time now and it has come in the form of exciting Canberra Raiders forward, Josh Papalii.
With the deal to begin in 2014, Papalii is the game-breaking back-rower that the Eels have been missing for the last few seasons, with club and player agreeing to a 3-year deal from the 2014 season.
Papalii, who is excited about the new opportunity for 2014, wants to focus on his final year at the Raiders as he looks to make a solid impression and go out on a high.
â€œThe time I have spent with the Canberra Raiders have been the best of my life. The Club and the fans have been so good to me & my family and I will always be grateful.â€ Papalii said.
â€œHeading to Parramatta next season is a new and exciting challenge, they are a club on the rise and I am looking forward to being a part of what Ricky Stuart and the team up there are doing. My first priority though is playing good footy for the Raiders this year and going out on a high.â€
With the Eels keen to implement a clear strategy for the future both on and off the field, CEO Ken Edwards believes that the signing of Papalii outlines the vision and strategies the club have in place for the future.
â€œWe have a plan at the Parramatta Eels to continue to restore pride in our jersey and once again be a dominant force in the NRL. Josh Papaliiâ€™s signature puts us well on our way to doing that. He is a great fit for our brand and will be welcomed with open arms into the Blue and Gold Family,” said Edwards.
Ricky Stuart was just as pleased with the signing, excited as to what Papalii will bring to the Eels forward pack in 2014.
â€œJosh is an outstanding young footballer and will bring with him all the attributes we are looking for in a player at the Parramatta Eels. We are a club building for the future and signing a young man of Joshâ€™s ability represents that,” says Stuart.