Matterson lands Eels leadership role after inspirational speech
Dan Walsh & Tanisha Stanton
Wed 5 Feb 2020, 05:00 PM
Ryan Matterson has been elevated to Parramatta’s leadership group just three months after an ugly walkout of his Wests Tigers, with an inspirational speech in his first week of training convincing teammates of his commitment to their cause.
Matterson is the most notable inclusion in Parramatta’s five-man leadership group led by captain Clint Gutherson, star half Mitchell Moses and forwards Nathan Brown and Junior Paulo.
In far more palatable scenes than the elections oft associated with Parramatta’s boardroom in the past, Brad Arthur’s entire squad voted in a “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” format to decide on Gutherson’s senior deputies.
Matterson only returned to his junior club in November, apologising to Tigers fans on Monday for his “frustrating” exit less than 12 months after arriving at Concord.
The NSW Origin hopeful impressed his new teammates with a prepared address after one of his first training sessions, holding court while reading from his phone in the dressing room.
“Leading, I feel like it happens naturally for me,” Matterson told NRL.com.
Matterson in Eels leadership groupMatterson in Eels leadership group
Matterson in Eels leadership group
“I really enjoy it and it’s pretty exciting now that we’ve got a leadership group going on here and to be a part of that makes me feel honoured, especially in the short time that I’ve been here.”
Matterson’s post-training speech caught Parramatta players off-guard, but had him held in high esteem almost immediately.
“The third session he got up and said this massive speech in front of all of us and the staff and we thought ‘wow, he’s here to win’,” young five-eighth Dylan Brown recalled.
"When he did that, everyone had respect for him already but for him to do that in front of a new club shows he wants to be a leader.
"It’s been three months and he’s already in the leadership group so it shows what kind of player he is and what he can do for us.
"It was a long speech but it was all about winning and, what was the word … mindfulness.