Corey Norman has found a release in Mitchell Moses. (Brett Costello)
Corey Norman has found a release in Mitchell Moses. (Brett Costello)

Mitch the perfect partner for Norman

LESS is more for Corey Norman. Norman is finally happy to relinquish being the Eels sole ballplayer after feeling like "had to do everything" in order for Parramatta's attack to succeed in recent years.

Even though Mitchell Moses arrived midway through last season, Norman has spent the pre-season learning not to over play his hand.

At first it was a difficult adjustment for Norman but one he is now enjoying.

"I just have to do my job well," Norman said. "Mitch is playing his best football. He has come back in good nick so I feel like he is going to have a big year.

"In saying that I'm one of the halves who likes to be on the ball all the time. When Mitch came, it was weird for me - not really stepping back - but I love being in control.

"You know what it takes a lot of pressure off me and frees up my game a lot more.

"I didn't have to do everything. Mitch is here and he is a quality player. Attack wise it was a bit of a relief. I had to adjust. I didn't have to do everything."

Norman is better for the consistency. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Norman is better for the consistency. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Halves partners have shuffled around Norman in recent seasons. The Eels looked to have finally secured a long-term solution in Kieran Foran but the curse of the Parramatta halfback role struck again with the Foran signing ending in disaster.

The likes of Chris Sandow, Luke Kelly and Jeff Robson have also come and gone.

Now the Eels looked to have finally found a long-term partnership between Norman and Moses.

"It's all-time having a full-time half outside me," Norman said. "It's pleasing. The last couple of years here I've had several halves partners but when Mitch came knowing he would be here for a while and I'm here it was exciting. It takes a lot of pressure off me.

"I'd seen him out and about (but I didn't know him before he signed). When he was coming I trusted (coach) Brad (Arthur). I jumped on board and fully supported it.

The lack of pressure has made footy fun again. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
The lack of pressure has made footy fun again. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

"By the looks of last year he was right.

"We need to be composed and disciplined and lead the side week in week out. We have to have a calming influence."

Norman is still fuelled by the Eels meek end to last season. After finishing in the top four they lost consecutive games to be bundled out of the finals race.

"It burns," Norman said. "We had a look at that early on. It hurt. It's a new year now. We're all better for that experience of last year.

"With any team when you go out in the finals like that, you don't need reminding. Everyone is very competitive and proud of what you do on the field. You don't need reminding. It still sits there. "That's gone now. We're ready to rip in this year."

The pair were showed up by Penrith's new-look halves combination Nathan Cleary and James Maloney last week. But Norman will have a chance to impress when he squares off against fellow Maroons hopeful Daly Cherry-Evans and Lachlan Croker.

 



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