Tiger doesn’t change its stripes so Grub must earn respect
NIGGLER: Wests Tigers recruit Josh Reynolds in his new kit at Concord Oval. Picture: Sam Ruttyn JOSH Reynolds feared his new Wests Tigers teammates hated him, given his role as chief antagonist at Canterbury.
Sitting as he overlooked his new base at Concord Oval this week, Reynolds has overcome his initial fears.
“They probably hated me before this, let’s face it,” said Reynolds, whose nickname is Grub.
“Respect is earnt. I’m not coming here thinking this guy should like or respect me. I’m here and I’m going to train here and try and get a friendship with not only the players, but everyone else at the club.”
After completing his first few days as a Tiger, Reynolds has spoken about his turbulent 2017 season, his hopes of forming a lethal combination with Luke Brooks and how he plans to bring the same passion which was his trademark at the Bulldogs.
“I was so nervous coming in,” he said.
“It didn’t hit me until I was about 15 minutes away from the ground. You want everyone to like you.
“The footy part will take care of itself. We have a whole off-season to work on it. I’ve been playing for a while now.
“That isn’t daunting. But you want to create new friendships. When I got my first bit of gear it was a little bit weird.
“It wasn’t blue and white. I don’t go home and say ‘I can’t believe I’m in this’. I’m going to take it with both hands.
“I know I grew up in Belmore but I want to create the same concept here.
“I’m doing what I love, which is playing rugby league.”
The easy decision for Reynolds would have been to sign with Cronulla.
He lives in the Sutherland Shire and the Sharks were coming off the back of their first premiership.
The Tigers have not played finals football since 2011.
“The one thing that got me over the line to come here was my talk with (coach) Ivan (Cleary) and he told me that ‘I just need you to be Josh Reynolds’,” Reynolds said.
“That made me feel really good. He knows what I’m about.”
His combination with Brooks looms as a vital cog for any success the Tigers will have. The duo will battle it out with veteran Benji Marshall for starting spots.
“He is that much more talented than me,” Reynolds said.
“I want to be the bloke to make sure he never doubts himself.
“Hopefully me being here and being a good influence on him.”
The injury-plagued Reynolds described his final season at the Bulldogs as “draining’’.