Ryan Matterson joined us for a Q&A to discuss all things pre-season, including his desire to start in the second row, the young squad persona and the different feeling among the playing group.
Here with Ryan Matterson in the fourth week of pre-season, how are you feeling after the first month?
The level that these young boys have reached already is exceptional.
They came back weeks before we did and set a really high platform.
Other than that, as a unit I think we’re looking good.
We still haven’t got the rep boys back yet, but we’ve got very high hopes at the moment.
Third pre-season for you at the Roosters, are you feeling more like one of the veteran guys that can offer a bit of guidance to the younger guys?
Every day I want to come in better than yesterday, that’s our motto.
As a team and individually, I’ve really taken that on board.
This is now my second season in the backrow, so I just want to build from last year and hopefully take some of these younger guys under my wing.
I want to show them what Boyd (Cordner) showed me last year with his leadership.
You came back to pre-season in 2016 looking a lot bigger, and this year you’re looking fit. Do you know what your role or position is yet?
I’ve come back with the mentality of a backrower.
That’s what I’m aiming for, but I’ll play wherever I fit.
There’s now a vacant backrow position with Aidan out of the line-up, will you be putting your hand up to start?
I told Robbo (Trent Robinson) that I’m interested in becoming a starting player.
I’m pretty keen on that starting spot, so I’m going to keep training hard and see where that takes me.
You got a few starts last year, including some time spent playing in the centres, do you feel comfortable changing positions so commonly?
I’m pretty comfortable anywhere, but I would prefer to play backrow.
That’s the position I’ve got my eyes set on, and I enjoy it there the most.
Would you still play in the halves if needed?
Yeah mate, I’ll play anywhere.
Back in the halves would be good with less tackling (laughs).
I’ll do whatever.
Is there excitement amongst the boys with all the changes coming in the new year?
Especially now that there’s so many vacant spots.
All the boys are ready to put their hands up and itching to dig in for the training days.
It’s really cool.
You’ve had two contrasting pre-seasons. 2016 which was a tough year and 17 which was a big year. What’s different heading into 18?
It kind of feels like we went well last year, but we feel a lot better this year.
The standards have gone up and there’s bigger expectation.
We know how far we went, but we can still be better.
There’s high hopes and everyones going good.
Any good pre-season advice?
Just treat each day as it comes, honestly.
If you keep thinking about the next day, and the day after that, you dig yourself a never ending hole.
But if you complete each day as it comes, you’ll come out better on the other side.
What’s the plans over the break?
Spend some time with the family, eat lots of food which I can’t wait to dive into.
Hopefully the weather is good!