Fuifui Moimoi and Luke Burt extend contracts with Parramatta Eels
EXCLUSIVE by Josh Massoud
PARRAMATTA have received an enormous boost as they fight to keep a host of stars beyond 2010, with crowd favourites Fuifui Moimoi and Luke Burt extending their contracts for another two years.
As the Eels celebrated Australia Day with a supporter meet-and-greet in Parramatta Park, club CEO Paul Osborne yesterday confirmed Moimoi and Burt have been locked away until the end of 2012.
“They’ve both agreed to two-year extensions, which is fantastic news for us,” Osborne said. “Fuifui was obviously one of our best forwards last year and Burty has been such a valuable member of the team for so long. They’ve both had interest from England but have decided to stay and hopefully finish their careers in blue and gold.”
For Osborne, the twin re-signing represents the first step in an uphill task to retain the club’s off-contract stars. Skipper Nathan Cayless, gun half Daniel Mortimer, star utility Feleti Mateo, Kiwi international Krisnan Inu and 2009 Grand Final star Eric Grothe are all free agents at the end of this year.
Mortimer is not expected to make a decision until several weeks into the season, but Osborne said talks had already commenced with both Cayless and Mateo.
Speaking yesterday, Burt was hopeful the club could retain as many players from last year’s tight-knit unit as possible.
“We’ve got a lot of players who’ve been here for a while, so it would be really sad to see anyone leave,” said Burt, who is about to tackle his 12th season at Parramatta.
“As far as I’m concerned, there have been some talks and I’ve been asked to come in next week. So hopefully [the extension] will all be finalised then.”
Moimoi was not at yesterday’s session but would have been one of the NRL’s most sought-after props after a red-letter 2009.
On the back of last year’s fairytale finals run, Parramatta have more than doubled their ticketed membership beyond 7000.
“The club has had players selling memberships and they are keeping track of which players sell the most,” Burt said.
He added the side had barely spoken about last year’s Grand Final defeat to Melbourne during pre-season. "It’s there in the back of your mind, but as a team we all just can’t wait for the season.
Instead of chasing the Lottery, Fui Fui would have been a more explosive signing……
Parramatta’s club CEO, Paul Osborne, is doing a fantastic job
I dont mind burt i think he is a good player who always gives his all
He does play his heart out for his club, but wouldn’t you bump him for Inu who kicks very well and is more dynamic than Grothe & Burt put together… They’re just like the Tigers when it comes to filling out their backline… alot of talent and not enough places…