Corey Thompson

When a player impresses in the Queensland Cup, at times, they may not receive the recognition they would get playing in NSW – but in this case, the recognition has been given, as Easts Tigers fullback Corey Thompson has signed a 2-year deal with the Canterbury Bulldogs effective immediately.

For Thompson, the move is well and truly a shock, with the live-wire fullback’s goal at the start of the season a simple one – to play well for the Tigers and do so consistently.

“I was shocked. I mean, I was supposed to be playing in Mackay last weekend and now I’m heading to Sydney for two years,” Thompson said.

With no prior indication that the interest by the Dogs was there, Thompson is excited at the opportunity.

“It started before the Redcliffe game (in round two) and they just wanted to see how I went against a top side. “

“I had a good game and it just went from there. I flew down last Thursday and met the coaching staff and everything. They offered me a contract and I accepted. The whole process would have been maybe three weeks.

“I just can’t wait to get started because it doesn’t even feel real at the moment.”

Previously a player with the Souths Logan Magpies before his move to the Tigers for season 2012, Thompson’s consistency was a big reason as to why he won the club’s Best Back Award.

“So, leaving will be hard. I went to training last Friday and told all the boys I was leaving. But I spoke to Thorpey (Easts’ captain Steven Thorpe) and he said he’d do the same thing. It made it easier that they were all so happy for me.”

Someone who has seen the development of Thompson over the last few years, is Easts head coach Craig Ingebrigtsen, especially after Thompson’s return from Melbourne’s pre-season.

“He came back from those few weeks of training with the Storm with a really good attitude. He’s worked really hard on and off the field,” Ingebrigtsen said.

“He’s been great to coach, everything we’ve asked of him he’s done. He has kept learning and taken what we’ve given him and he’s also taught us a few things as well. I’m really proud of him. That’s what we coach for, to help create pathways. It would be great to see him get a shot in the NRL.”

Not just limited to playing fullback, Thompson is quite a versatile player and says he has already discussed his future with Bulldogs coach Des Hasler.

“I spoke to Des Hasler just about their team and what they’re about… they see me basically as a utility to just fill the spots somewhere at centre, wing or fullback,” he said.

With the opportunity not awarded to many players, Thompson is keen to take it with both hands.

With Sydney full of distractions, Thompson is just focused on making the most of his chance with the Bulldogs.

“I’ll be right. I don’t really go much or get involved in any of that, so it should be easy.”

“I’ve just got to make the most of this chance.”

By ricky

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