Finally, Parramatta have put the first brick in the wall to becoming a NRL powerhouse again.
Kieran Foran’s signature is not just a boon for a club in desperate need of some good news, he is the nucleus around which Parramatta can begin rebuilding their team.
The Foran contract saga finally came to a close when it was confirmed late on Friday he would join the Eels from next season on a four-year deal.
Four months after initially landing him and two weeks after fearing they had lost him, they managed at last to get their man.
“It’s been rather stressful with what went on,” Foran told the Nine Network.
“I guess it rattled me a little bit.
“But I always had faith in the direction in which Parramatta was heading and it was just a matter of taking my time to get over that.”
He will arguably be the club’s best No.6 since Brett Kenny, who formed a powerhouse combination with Peter Sterling during the club’s glory years in the 1980s.
After enduring a turbulent couple of months with the exit of chief executive Scott Seward, a salary cap scandal, some outspoken comments by halfback Chris Sandow and toing and froing over Foran’s signature, the club is desperate for success.
They have not finished higher than 10th over the past five seasons, collecting three wooden spoons in that time and looking set for another early exit sitting 12th this year after 16 rounds.
Not since they rode Jarryd Hayne’s coattails to the 2009 grand final have they played semi-final football but Foran’s arrival changes everything.
He is aged just 24, is at the height of his powers, is a grand final winner and is the New Zealand Test five-eighth.
The Eels have also gained Beau Scott and Michael Gordon for next year and Foran’s signing will be a powerful magnet for any players considering joining the Eels.
Foran will link with the western Sydney club from Manly next season on a two-year contract, with an option for a further two, on a deal worth $4.8 million.
A $1 million get-out clause has been removed, however Foran is free to walk away should Eels coach Brad Arthur be sacked.
His signing confirmation was delayed after Parramatta sought to have the original get-out clause removed and Foran considered walking away from the deal.
He admitted he was disappointed and taken aback after the Eels asked to renegotiate.
Foran’s signing also ensures the future of Arthur. He has come under pressure after the side’s slow start to the season but landing Foran is a shot in the arm for him.
Playing under Arthur was one of Foran’s motivations for making the move and the coach has reportedly agreed to a two-year contract extension to stay at Parramatta until the end of 2019.
“I had made my decision back in March and I was committed to that decision and I had my reasons for that,” Foran said.
“There was a little hiccup there that needed to be addressed but I’m happy that we can move forward now.”