Revitalised Idris ready for next challenge



  • Revitalised Idris ready for next challenge

    Martin Gabor Mon 07 Nov, 2016, 3:00pm
    By Martin Gabor ‌, National Correspondent , NRL.com

    Wests Tigers recruit Jamal Idris has returned from his year away from the game refreshed and with a new lease on life ahead of the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership season.

    The 26-year-old, who has played for the Bulldogs, Titans and Panthers, left rugby league to do what most people his age do in their mid-20s: discover themselves overseas.

    It was a move that stunned many in the game, but one which was necessary according to Idris.

    Signed by the Tigers on a one-year deal, Idris said that he had rediscovered his passion for rugby league following his prolonged absence from the game, but admitted he had no regrets about his eye-opening sabbatical from the NRL.

    “A year away will do that for you, but also travelling, you get to see the world,” he said.

    "You don’t have that ‘what am I missing out on?’ thought that’s always sitting in the back of your head.

    "When I first started, I was still in school. I didn’t have time to see the world, travel the world and learn who I am in this world, and that’s exactly what I did.

    “I’m a big believer that everyone has their own journey. Everyone has their own path to walk, and this just happened to be mine.”

    While talent was never an issue, the 26-year-old openly admitted he struggled at times to handle the off-field challenge of being a professional athlete.

    His time away changed his perspective completely.

    “I wanted to get over the fact that people would stare at me. I wanted to know what they thought,” he said.

    "You travel to somewhere like India and I stick out like a sore thumb. You start to realise that maybe they’re not staring at you because of football. Maybe they’re staring at you because you’re six-foot-five, black with dreadlocks.

    “It’s the little things that I had to learn about myself like being able to sit there in silence without having all this background noise, being able to walk around a group of people without being nervous and thinking ‘what are they saying about me’ or ‘what are they saying behind my back?’ or being in a crowd like this and being relaxed.”

    Now that he’s back, Idris is ready to rip in for what will be his ninth pre-season in the NRL. According to the Wests Tigers recruit, this is the first one that he’s appreciated.

    “I was laughing the other day to my old man – I was sitting there saying ‘this is the first time that I actually had a pre-season that I’m enjoying’,” Idris said.

    "I actually come to training and I’m happy to be here. There’s a good vibe, especially with the younger kids.

    "You come here to training and you remember what it was like being their age, all spritely and ready to go. They sit there and they look at you with a smile and there is nothing you can do but laugh.

    "It’s good to be running around. I guess it’s like riding a bike with all the ball skills and all that.

    “I’ve been training for the past four-and-a-half or five weeks which has really helped me a lot. I almost hit my PB the other day in our fitness testing, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

    The former Kangaroos and Blues representative said he wasn’t focussing on higher honours at the moment, admitting those things would take care of themselves if he excelled on and off the field.

    It remains unclear whether he will play in the centres or the back row, but given he played 120 of his 131 matches in the three-quarter line, it is more likely than not that he will play in the backs.

    It’s a topic Idris isn’t worried about at the moment, nor is having to prove himself to the doubters who have questioned his return to rugby league.

    “I’m not fussed really. Football’s football. I’ll play wherever they want me to play; it’s all the same to me,” he said.

    “People are always going to say that I have to prove myself, but I don’t have to prove myself to anyone but myself. That’s who I’m here for, that’s who I’m trying to prove myself to. This is a year for me to sit down and see how good I can be.”



  • He has to play centre, we have not had a big fast centre for a very long time, if at all, we can’t waste this chance.


  • Banned

    Looking forward to seeing the big fella re-establish himself.
    Blank canvas Jamal, good luck.



  • He is going to be a very good signing. I just think he is the perfect bloke to have around the young guys,when things are not going well he will lighten the place up a little. I hope he has a good year on the field, but I think he will offer a lot more off th field



  • He has a lot of charisma. Reminds me a bit of a US athlete, with a bit of swagger. Not the douchebag ‘‘look at me look at me’’ Hayne version, but a laid back, cool fun guy with personality. The vibes are good and his head seems like it’s in the right place. All he needs is match fitness which will come. I think he’ll have a big year.



  • Idris has two issues: Fitness and Mindset. If he can get these right he will be great for WT.



  • @GNR4LIFE:

    He has a lot of charisma. Reminds me a bit of a US athlete, with a bit of swagger. Not the douchebag ‘‘look at me look at me’’ Hayne version, but a laid back, cool fun guy with personality. The vibes are good and his head seems like it’s in the right place. All he needs is match fitness which will come. I think he’ll have a big year.

    Spot on… well summed up


  • ForumSupporter

    @tigerap:

    @GNR4LIFE:

    He has a lot of charisma. Reminds me a bit of a US athlete, with a bit of swagger. Not the douchebag ‘‘look at me look at me’’ Hayne version, but a laid back, cool fun guy with personality. The vibes are good and his head seems like it’s in the right place. All he needs is match fitness which will come. I think he’ll have a big year.

    Spot on… well summed up

    It’s pretty amazing how views can change in 2 months…

    I’m still not 100% sold but am starting to warm to big Jama…



  • He’s very likeable, likely make training fun



  • So far, so good!



  • @Geo.:

    @tigerap:

    @GNR4LIFE:

    He has a lot of charisma. Reminds me a bit of a US athlete, with a bit of swagger. Not the douchebag ‘‘look at me look at me’’ Hayne version, but a laid back, cool fun guy with personality. The vibes are good and his head seems like it’s in the right place. All he needs is match fitness which will come. I think he’ll have a big year.

    Spot on… well summed up

    It’s pretty amazing how views can change in 2 months…

    I’m still not 100% sold but am starting to warm to big Jama…

    Isn’t he just one of those blokes, if he is going well everyone is a fan, if not it just disappoints people as a failed opportunity?

    He’s easily big and skilled enough to make it at the top level, so it only boils down to mentality and willingness to work hard.

    The interviews and such recently, the noise sounds good (of course it does) about his mental health and hunger for the game, so people are coming around. 2 months ago he was that guy who dropped out of 3 clubs then almost got kidnapped whilst soul-searching in Vietnam.

    When punters see a footballer with loads of talent who doesn’t put in off the field, they inevitably get upset, because it’s supposed to be the defining characteristic of rugby league players.

    Corollary is the battler low-skilled footballer who just trains and plays hard every week, and is highly appreciated by the supporters.



  • @TYGA:

    Idris has two issues: Fitness and Mindset. If he can get these right he will be great for WT.

    Yeah your spot on there…… But at the moment I would rather he stay away from the media and concentrate on the job ahead. Important for him to stay in the moment and not get ahead of himself. But no doubt he a good signing for now.



  • I like how self-aware he is. His comments about not watching the news because “most of it is made up” made me smile

    And he sure shoved it back at that one journalist digging for quotes about his relationship with alcohol and his professionalism!



  • He seems to be himself, and he seems happy with that….which should augur well for him and the team.
    No cliches or standard responses

    Confidence player



  • @innsaneink:

    He seems to be himself, and he seems happy with that….which should augur well for him and the team.
    No cliches or standard responses

    Confidence player

    Plenty of players could take a leaf out of his book


Log in to reply
 

Recent Topics