Matterson meets with Eels over potential switch.

Disgruntled Wests Tigers star Ryan Matterson has met with Parramatta as he explores a possible homecoming to his junior club.

Matterson was given permission to negotiate with other clubs late last month and is expected to turn out in rival colours next year despite having two seasons to run on his current Tigers deal.

NRL.com understands that Matterson met with Eels officials on Tuesday and is also scheduled to fly to the Gold Coast and meet incoming Titans coach Justin Holbrook next week.Parramatta coach Brad Arthur is on holidays and was not present at Tuesday's meeting, but both parties remain open to pursuing a possible move for Matterson back into the Blue and Gold.

The Tigers though have stressed they won't release the rising back-rower unless they also benefit from the deal.

Whether that involves a player swap or financial compensation has been discussed at Concord, but the Tigers hard-line stance looms as a significant hurdle for clubs pursuing the 25-year-old

Both the Eels and Wests Tigers are yet to make an official announcement on the matter.

Retiring Wests Tigers icon Robbie Farah described Matterson's dispute with the club as "beyond the point of return" last week, with the Tigers keen to have Matterson's future sorted before the next rugby league financial year begins on November 1.

Matterson is slated to earn around $350,000 next year under his Tigers deal, but would be able to earn a bigger payday elsewhere given his rise to NSW Origin 18th man honours this year.

Parramatta have identified Matterson as a potential back-row target having already beefed up their forward pack by securing Reagan Campbell-Gillard from Penrith.

Matterson started out as an Eels junior and captained their under 20s team as a halfback, but fell out with Arthur over the coach's push for him to play in the forwards.

The pair have since resolved their differences, though it was Holbrook who proved instrumental in taking Matterson across town to the Roosters in 2016.

Holbrook guided St Helens to his first Super League title last weekend in his farewell to the English powerhouse, and is set to take charge at the Titans in the coming days

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                • HOE, I have no idea about the individual cost per head for players and their development, but one thing to consider is that even in this age of so called professional RL most of the teams playing in Junior comps, and thats not just the rep games either but the local district teams as well.  Pretty well all those teams have financial help from the local areas, from mums and dads and families who contribute towards simple things like playing gear, taking in turns for mums to take the players gear home and wash them ready for next weeks game.

                  Councils help with keeping the grounds in order just as mums and dads have special days for that, also the old chook raffles still happen, a jnr level of Bunnings sausage sizzles on a W/E and the list goes on, the Bunnings Banger morning helps the local football teams of all codes in a big way, with volountees on them, with the bangers and bread, sauces and the like all donated, often from families as well.

                  What needs to be considered is the simple fact if there are no juniors, that is young and growing boys & girls these days stop playing in jnr comps, it will slowly see the failing of the main comps as well, no low jnr and learning the game, feeds upwards to no real competition, then who will play in the Jnr comps that still exist? we have lost a lot of 2nd division teams as well as jnr rep comps that help with player development to take them up to the next level, when they go, how will any of the clubs or RL survive.

                  I know I wont see it, but gee I've seen a lot of these closures of teams in Sydney and the bush for me to want to not see any of them considered to be sufficient to keep RL as the NSW premier winter sport die

                  • Colin, thanks mate. Good post. That 40K figure was bandied around 5-7 years ago by clubs such as St George when there was a lot more hooplah re juniors costs. It's probably costs more now.

                    Gus wrote a good article a while back on the problems with junior development.

                    It's a difficult problem to resolve, but essential for the game's future and in the life of communities, as you pointed out.

                    I tend to agree with Gus & Brett. It needs changing. For long term viability.The game's heads probably need to take more charge of it, rather than put the onus on clubs to foot the bill and manage it. 

                    If you were running a club as a business, trying to break even and profit, which model would you rather - our huge nursery or the Roosters/Storm cherry-picked juniors? 

                    NRL desperately needs a summit to sort out junior development
                    Player development is a hot topic in rugby league at the moment. The recent situations involving young players like James Tedesco and Anthony Milford…
                    • HOE, good reply, need to read Guses article later and will come back on it.

                      For some reason the eels are said to have a huge nursery, but how big is it really?  There are those more qualified than I am to bring those figures forward but I see two sides or sections within the Parra district, the first one which to me is the nursery and that side consists primarilly of the youngsters and clubs that have their own comp running, that is purelly akin to park football with maybe some older has beens.

                      Outside of that arena are the areas of players who want to try and play NRL or top line RL, this is where we find the players in the so called nursery, is it huge or not?

                      Last night I was going through some files on the computer, and found two eels lists from probably about 5 years back as I had gone to a couple of rep games at Wyong, some of the matches were great others, will leave it alone but I enjoyed watching some players who would likely be in contention for NRL at some club, There are two lists one for Mathews and one for SG ball.  In the Mathews team or squad there were 41 players, only two had names I recognise and they are Tyler FIeld and the other Nick Fonua.

                      In SG Ball there are 42 players listed and of those the names I recognise are Stefano Uto, Jess Cronin, Mark Tepi Smith, Kyle Schnieder. Dylan Brown, Alex Seve, William Kei, JP Noira, & Taufa Afu.

                      That'a grand total of 11 players out of 83 that have or are likely to be playing NRL now in the case of Dylan Brown, and only a couple of the others are perhapsers at best.

                      The aspect of the huge nursery is pretty much a bit of a myth, and the meaning of Myth is "a story that has some basis of truth associated in or with it out of history".  Yes we may have a lot of youngsters and even old players who are not good enough even for 2nd division that would be part of the huge nursery but how many will graduate out of Kindy?

                    • The problem with our supposed nursery is that it is within driving distance of about eight other clubs.

                    • PE, Depends on how you define the driving time, thing is that we are basically bounded by Tigers, Riff, & Dogs each of whom also have fair jnr leagues, with the way the boundaries have changed.  Manly have encroached by coming in with the Blacktown takeover of a Reggies club that have ex eels players and some juniors that play with them, they also are said to have return bus service for that team.

                      Thing is, when one looks at our so called huge nursery, we also have to consider how many players who are considered juniors actually are eels juniors. Dylan Brown and Reed Mahoney as two examples have divided backgrounds, NZ & QLD, thing is that the eels developed them and they are playing for the eels, so the fit often can be deemed as loose.

                      If our huge nursery was so great, with so many players that are of NRL quality that come from it, why are the eels teams not at least 75% filled with ex eels nursery players. Also when a list is compilled of ex eels players at other clubs how many are there, really?

                      I would say, & I pluck this out of the air and say Manly has the most ex eels nursery players at their club.

                      End of

              • On that basis Brett, why not just disband the local eels comps altogether, give them no recognition at all, and let it flow to other local jnr comps and soon it will be like we are seeing in rural NSW where the game while not dead is on life support.

                For me to mention in one players brief the aspect of him captaining a local young teams in a competition and it would apply across the board for me with other clubs as well, is to recognise his credentials even at an early point of his career.  I was not focussing on it in what I said as it was just a part of an overal regarding his career stats, not just his raw stats in which I agreed with you on that part of your post.

                I don't have an interest like you do in other sports, its enough for me to take an interest in RL these days the way game is controled rather than led, I support and follow one team in the eels, but I also take and interest in how other clubs/team operate and play and always have done in 60 odd years of being part of the club and following the eels as my family did, even when we left Sydney for more than 30 years and remained member of both the PLC and Football club.

                Lastly on the Jnr aspect, I followed the primary 3 main junior rep teams each season and saw some exciting players, not just eels players either in their early days as they looked towards senior football, thing is I was more aligned to supporting the eels juniors than others. Today there is a call for less clubs in the Sydney area owing to the lack of quality players, one of the reasons for that is the overal reduction in teams at both Junior and senior levels along with the intermediate comps that was second division.

                When the junior comps started to be reduced in numbers it was open slather for Soccer and AFL to take over those open spots.  Brett they are the facts of the matter, and not directed against you but the lack of leadership at the top and that includes the individual leagues clubs that are supposed to be the controlers and owners of the teams as such.

    • But you can't underestimate that relationship between lane and dbrown. It was there early rounds, and they were still working wonderfully at the end. Get a preseason done that will be an exciting edge with Sivo to ice any breaks. Don't need to fix what we are already fixing.

      • That's the left edge Jacob, we need to fix the right edge.

        • I'll concede that point, but why are we comparing a left edge vs a left edge ring in. Can matterson play on the right and do we have to play him if we buy him on big coin? If he is willing to work up the ladder that would solve the attitude we are wondering about. But if we are buying a starting position let's save cash, and promote.

          • Jacob, I have seen him play both left and right side, in both 11 & 12 jersies at other clubs.

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