Moses promises to take control of young Eels
PARRAMATTA halfback Mitchell Moses has spent the summer adding a new level to his skill set ahead of Sunday's NRL season-opening western Sydney derby against Penrith.
"It's about making sure I am ready to go round one," Moses said. "It's about staying on top of your game really - if you try to just let your talent get you through the year, that won't work.
"You've got to work on new things. Defences these days are so smart. You need to be coming up with different things to break the line. I have put more time into my game."
While his left-to-right cut-out balls are a thing of beauty, Moses has worked hard on passing and kicking and spent hours watching video with the Eels' coaching staff.
With Corey Norman having joined St George Illawarra, Moses is now in total control of a Parramatta side which collected last year's wooden spoon.
"I feel more organised this year. I have put more time into my game, with my kicking and things like that. Hopefully I can bring those things I have been working on in the preseason out in round one," he said.
"I have been doing a lot of extras; putting stuff into my game that I felt wasn't there last year. Having a lot of conversations with the coaches.
"I'm doing more video work, some kicking, passing, whatever I can do to better my game. Whatever it is, even the little, simple things. Anything that can better my game on the field, I will do it."
In past seasons Moses has attracted criticism for his body language on the field, where he's often seen yelling at teammates. He makes no apology for that and says he welcomes the heavy weight of expectation under which he will play.
"I'll be definitely trying to take control of the team. I'm not saying it's my team but I will be trying to guide the boys around the field and get to the spots where we need to play our footy," Moses said.
"I'm a person on the field who doesn't shut up. I enjoy that. I'm always loud. Being that halfback that is in control, I don't mind that role.
"I like to be everywhere. Wherever I can bark orders, I will be there."
Adding to Moses's responsibilities in 2019 will be mentoring 18-year-old half Dylan Brown.
With 20-year-old Reed Mahoney expected to play hooker, Parramatta have an incredibly inexperienced spine.
"I will be trying to help out Dyl as much as possible. He is only 18. I will help him out and let him do his thing," Moses said. "I want to take as much pressure off him as possible," Moses said.
Moses has the burden of wearing the famous Eels' No.7. It's a jersey made famous by Peter Sterling, the last halfback to lead Parramatta to a premiership back in 1986.
Last year's wooden spooners also own the league's longest title drought. Not that it's affecting Moses.
"It's the best I have felt in a while," he said.
"I feel like we're in a good place at the moment. There is a good feel around the club at the moment.
"We've got a good young squad here who want to learn and do extras. Every team will say they are going to win the comp when it's January. You have to have that confidence going round one.
"We have put ourselves in a really good position to fight in every game we play."