Club great Peter Sterling has revealed he played a key role in helping secure the services of star five-eighth Kieran Foran at Parramatta.
Regarded as the best No.6 on the Eels’ books since Sterling’s halves partner Brett Kenny from Parramatta’s glory days in the 1980s, Foran confirmed late on Friday he would join the NRL club next season on a four-year deal.
The announcement ended a long-running contract saga, with confirmation arriving four months after the Eels initially landed Foran and two weeks after fearing they’d lost him after a turbulent time off the field with a salary cap scandal and issues at board level.
Sterling spoke to Foran as the Kiwi international was again weighing up his future, and said it was his relationship with coach Brad Arthur that was key.
“I’ve spoken to Kieran during the course of this and one thing with Kieran that never changed was his belief in the footballing side of things,” said Sterling on Triple M’s Dead Set Legends on Saturday.
“I think he’s excited by the fact Parramatta have a host of good young players out there and you throw in Beau Scott and Michael Gordon around Anthony Watmough and Kieran Foran … on the field they are going in the right direction.
“In his relationship with Brad Arthur and what he thinks will be the best for his football future, that never really wavered, despite all the problems over the last couple of weeks in getting the contract sorted.”
NSW back-rower Beau Scott, who signed a three-year deal from 2016 with the Eels, was pleased to see Foran stick with Parramatta.
“Obviously when I signed with the club Kieran was already going to the club next year and it is good to see that that is going to be the case moving forward,” said Scott from the Blues’ Origin camp in Coffs Harbour.
“It would have been a big loss if he withdrew from the contract but it is good to see him committed to the club.”
Sterling ruled out playing a consultant role similar to that of Bob Fulton, who is helping rebuild the Sea Eagles.
“Brad Arthur doesn’t need me. I speak to Brad every now and then … he knows his stuff, he’s a very good football coach,” Sterling said.
“I live on the Central Coast and I’m doing plenty of stuff anyway. I cheer for them and I’m blue and gold to the heart, but they don’t need me.”