HIGH-profile Sea Eagles recruit Feleti Mateo spent Wednesday house hunting on the northern beaches.
His next pressing matter will be finding a home in Manly’s starting pack ahead of the 2015 NRL season.
With dual premiership winners Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough moving on to the Rabbitohs and Eels respectively, the 29-year-old knows he has big shoes to fill.
“With those blokes going, there is a big hole there,’’ Mateo told the Manly Daily.
“Plus I was attracted to the culture at the club – they are tight-knit and just seem to get the job done every season.
“Everything happened quickly, but now that it is sorted, I can’t wait to rip in.
“I know a few of the boys well — Justin Horo from my Parramatta days, Jamie Buhrer and Jorge Taufua from City Origin as well as a game with Kieran Foran with the NRL All Stars.
“I am excited and would like to think I can make an impact if given the opportunity — be it as a ball playing lock or in the back row.”
Mateo still harbours desires to crack the State of Origin arena. “I am still hopeful — all I can do is play good footy,’’ he said. “Playing in a successful team won’t hurt my chances.”
The Sea Eagles have a proven track record in bringing out the best in players who were struggling at other clubs. A classic example is Jesse Sene-Lefao who joined the club as a lower grader from Penrith and is now in the Samoan Test squad.
Mateo fits the bill to do exactly the same thing at Narrabeen next season.
He played 95 NRL games with the Warriors but fell out of favour at the end of last season and it was clear he was not part of the future plans of coach Andrew McFadden.
Mateo finished the year languishing in the Warriors’ NSW Cup side. Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey described Mateo as a bit of a cross between Glenn Stewart and Watmough.
“He brings a lot of experience and skill,” Toovey said.
“He is a great player and an attacking threat.”