Michael Jennings begins journey with Parramatta Eels

New start: Michael Jennings addresses the media for the first time since joining the Parramatta Eels. Picture: Gene Ramirez

New start: Michael Jennings addresses the media for the first time since joining the Parramatta Eels. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Parramatta Eels recruit Michael Jennings said he knows there will be big expectations on the club to make the top eight in 2016. 

‘‘The team have been training really hard since I got here, the boys have been really ripping in,’’ he said. 

‘‘I can see how much they want to succeed, but it’s too early to say where we’re going to be. 

‘‘We need to train hard, do everything right and take each step as it comes.’’

Jennings is the latest in a line of new recruits to Parramatta for 2016, and is really excited about the roster the club has built. 

‘‘The roster is something I was looking at with coming here.

‘‘Obviously there’s Foran, Gordo (Michael Gordon) and Beauy (Beau Scott). I’ve played a fair bit with Gordo and I’ve played some representative with Beauy, so that made it easier coming over.’’

Jennings has also been impressed by the approach of Eels coach, Brad Arthur. 

‘‘He’s a genuine person, he’s real passionate and a real honest person with what he wants and what he wants out of me.’’

Jennings said he is out to earn the respect of his team mates and his coach and will be looking to do right by the team when he plays his first game.

Ironically, Jennings is likely to wear the Blue and Gold for the first time against his former club Penrith.

Jennings said he will not play at the Auckland Nines, leaving the February 20 trial with the Panthers at Pepper Stadium as the likely setting for his club debut. 

Looking back, he never would have expected to be playing for Parramatta.

Jennings is a Penrith junior and went on to play 122 NRL games with the Panthers before making the switch to the Sydney Roosters in 2013. 

Jennings took a light-hearted approach when questioned about comments he made in 2011 where he said he didn't hate the Parramatta players "just the team they represent.’

‘‘That was just a young boy, that's just a passionate Penrith boy. You had that rivalry when you're playing for Harold Matts and SG Ball,’’ he said.

‘‘I look back at it now, it's pretty funny.

‘‘It's good for the fans, they love it. And you enjoy that rivalry. It makes you motivated to play your best footy.’’

The February 20 trial could also see Jennings come up against younger brothers George and Robert for the first time. 

The story Jennings has great expectations with Eels first appeared on Parramatta Sun.

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