Kearney delighted with Walker deal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kearney delighted with Walker deal

Ian McCullough 04/11/2010 05:17:52 PM Comments (0)

New Parramatta coach Stephen Kearney says the opportunity to sign veteran NRL winger Chris Walker was too good for the Eels to turn down.

Parramatta will become the 30-year-old former Queensland Origin star's sixth NRL club, and he joins after a one-year spell in the English Super League with French side Catalans.

Walker is the Eels' third recruit with a history of off-field issues, with Reni Maitua and former Queensland prop Carl Webb also agreeing terms earlier this year.

Maitua returns to the NRL after a two-year ban for doping offences while Webb moves south of the Tweed after a disappointing couple of seasons with North Queensland during which he was arrested for drink-driving the day after his wedding in 2008.

However, Kearney said he had no concerns about Walker and believes he will be a great addition to a side that missed out on a top-eight spot just 12 months after reaching the grand final.

"We looked at our list and we have a fairly extensive amount of injuries with Joel Reddy undergoing shoulder reconstruction and Eric Grothe playing very little football last season due to injury," Kearney told AAP.

"We also lost Krisnan Inu, who is a class outside back, to the Warriors, and for what Chris cost us, we thought it was good value to get him on board and too good a chance to turn down.

Eels officials refused to divulge details of Walker's deal, other than to say the club was happy with the deal.

Kearney has a history with Walker, having been an assistant when the speedy back was at Melbourne in 2006.

"His experience will be good for us and our young players who are coming through and I know he is looking forward to the challenge and I am looking forward to working with him."

"I am not concerned about Chris' past. It is the future that interests me.

"He is a mature player now and has moved on in life and he will be a good addition to our squad and will play a big role for us next year."

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