Tigers believe Latrell Mitchell will be biggest club recruit since Ellery Hanley
The Tigers are giving their all to attract Latrell Mitchell to Concord, and the belief within the club is that the NSW star would be their biggest recruit since legendary Englishman Ellery Hanley.
David Riccio, The Daily Telegraph
November 19, 2019 8:00pm
That’s the view of Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis who says the club is unperturbed about the Sydney Roosters star also meeting with North Queensland on Monday.
Granted permission to negotiate with rival clubs by the Roosters after they pulled a two-year contract extension from 2021, the 22-year-old has been told by the Tigers he can fulfil his goal of moving from centre to fullback.
“Latrell Mitchell could be a generational player for the Tigers.
“I think he would elevate the enthusiasm in our club by 50 per cent.
“And it would be recognition that the club is heading in the right direction by securing players of that calibre.
“He’s 22 years of age, he’s got two premierships under his belt and a winning Origin series.
“It’s an opportunity for him to come and stamp his individual brilliance on a club.’’
Tigers coach Michael Maguire, football manager Adam Hartigan and chief executive Justin Pascoe drove to Taree last week to meet with the Test centre and his family.
“They have met and spoken,’’ Hagipantelis said.
“There’s no secret the Tigers want him and neither should we demure about our enthusiasm for him.’’
Hagipantelis said he took no concern that Mitchell was photographed meeting with Cowboys officials.
North Queensland are weighing up the option to sign the two-time premiership winner during a period of which they wait for confirmation from Valentine Holmes on if he intends to return to the NRL - or persist chasing his NFL dream.
“It’s well known the Cowboys are looking for a fullback,’’ Hagipantelis said.
“I suspect they’re (Cowboys) hedging their bets at the moment because it’s been reported there’s been an expression interest in Valentine Holmes.
“He wants to test his worth and that’s the appropriate thing for him to do.
“And when I say worth, it’s not just monetary terms either. No matter where he signs, it will be a large sum of money involved but there’s a lot more than that.
“It’s where he’s going to fill comfortable, where he’s going to feel appreciated, where he thinks he’s going to advance and create his own legacy.
“These are al the tangible factors that have to be brought into account.’’
The newly-pointed chairman who has replaced Barry O’Farrell said the Tigers would like an answer from Mitchell, “sooner rather than later.’’
“From what I understand Latrell isn’t due to return to any pre-season until after Christmas because of his involvement in the Australian team.
“However, it’s not in his interest or ours for things to linger. People like certainty and I’m sure he would, just as much as we would.
“But I don’t think anyone is going to come down with a hammer and pressure him. I don’t think it’s appropriate.’’