James Graham.

Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by SET2JT, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. denis preston

    denis preston Bench

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    3rd year the clubs option ? First I've heard any details of that ( hope it's correct ) ? Source ?
     
  2. dragonssamy61

    dragonssamy61 Bench

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    Denis it is 3rd year option in the clubs favour
     
  3. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    I think the fallout from the game vs. Souths in 2015 really brought out a big dose of humility in Graham. He is still prone to the angry outburst but, in my eyes at least, is able to move on quickly and channel it into his next tackle or hit up. We are going to have a very good first choice front row with Vaughan, AhMau & Graham.
     
  4. Dragsters

    Dragsters Juniors

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    Initially the talk was that club was supposedly going for 2 years with an option for a third in the clubs favour, but it seems it ended up being a full 3 yr deal.

    Needs to be managed carefully to get the most out of him over the full term...
     
  5. Dragsters

    Dragsters Juniors

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    Thanks samy, I thought that's what you had suggested early on.

    Happy that that's what they ended up securing...
     
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  6. TomRedVRiver

    TomRedVRiver Juniors

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    Exclusive column: Inside the meeting that secured James Graham for the Dragons
    OPINION

    [​IMG]
    • September 11, 2017 10:57am
    • JAMES GRAHAM
    • Source: FOX SPORTS


    [​IMG]

    IT took me a while to come to terms with leaving the Bulldogs but once I got there in my mind there was never going to be a destination for me that would fit better than the Dragons.
    St George Illawarra are a club that I have always admired and it will be an honour to be able to represent another massive club with a rich history.

    Right from the first moment I heard there was interest from the Red V, I was flattered and it didn’t take too long to convince me that I could be fulfilled by a move to the club.

    I was taken aback by a big club like the Dragons showing interest in me when I first heard they might be keen.

    For St George to be after me, I was pleased to be linked with them and I thought, ‘let’s see what they have to say’. I wasn’t just going to move anywhere.

    I wanted to move to a big club that was a success and I knew before I even met St George that that’s how I felt about them.
    [​IMG]
    James Graham and Josh Reynolds farewell the Bulldogs.Source: AAP
    MEETING WITH MARY

    Obviously before I could decide on my future I needed to meet with Dragons coach Paul McGregor and their head of recruitment, Ian Millward.

    I had a whole list of questions for them, mainly about the direction they were hoping to take with the club and where they saw me within their plans.

    A meeting like that needs to happen in person but I was conscious of doing it the right way, in private, so that it didn’t end up in the media.

    At that point I was still a Bulldogs player and there were still two games to go in the season.

    I was really impressed with what Mary and Ian had to say.

    They spoke a lot about where they see the club going, they gave me some facts about where the Dragons have been over the last few years and they’ve spent a fair bit of time in both of the last two seasons in the top four.

    Obviously some of the additions they’ve made to the squad are really good and they spoke a lot about how they saw me fitting in.

    I’m a competitive person so obviously I want to have a role that helps the club have success. There’s no guarantees but they spoke a lot about my experience — I’ve been a professional for about 12 years now and that carries some weight.

    I also wanted to find out what type of coach Mary is. Obviously playing against a team gives you some insight but it’s quite different to what you experience within that team.

    Without going into too much detail, I was really impressed with the pitch. It’s clear to me that the Dragons are Paul McGregor’s team now and I think he’s done a great job since taking over.

    It was also helpful to my decision making process that I don’t have to move my family to play for this club.

    That’s something else we spoke about, the potential to move. I’ve spent a bit of time down in Wollongong but it’s been pretty limited. Obviously it’s a lot different to living down there.

    I think in the next few weeks my family are going to have a few more trips down there to see what we think about living there but it’s not something we definitely have to do.

    It’s a 45 minute drive, so it’s not that different to driving to Belmore. It’s something that I’m definitely looking at and I’m quite excited about.

    HOW THINGS FINISHED AT THE DOGS

    There’s been paper talk for quite a while that the Bulldogs needed to move players on to be salary cap compliant for next season.

    Some of those stories suggested I would be moved on but I hadn’t heard that from the club until about three weeks ago, when I met with the chairman, Ray Dib.

    He just sort of explained to me the situation and yeah, he was really good about it. He said I didn’t have to move and there’d potentially be other options there but he said, if you can secure your future then we’ll allow you to go down that path.

    It’s never nice to be told by the club you’ve fallen in love with over the past six years that you’re free to go but they needed to ease some cap pressures at Canterbury and hopefully that’s sorted now.

    I’ve been able to take a step back from the emotion involved and now that the decision has been made, I think it’s a win-win for all parties.

    That wasn’t the case at first. My first reaction to my meeting with Ray was surprise and disappointment.

    I mentioned on NRL 360 a couple of weeks ago that I was having negotiations with myself before deciding whether or not to leave Canterbury.

    That was because I didn’t want to be seen to be leaving the club when it was at a bit of a low point.

    It’s the first time in my career at Canterbury that we weren’t going to play finals and I was determined to be part of the solution.

    It took me a while to realise that the best way to be part of the solution was to move on.

    It dawned on me that leaving was going to help the club and when you’ve got a club like St George telling you how much they want to have you there, it certainly makes things easier.

    Once I had settled on that things moved quite quickly but the deal wasn’t finalised with the Dragons until the day before we played them in round 26, my last game for Canterbury.

    [​IMG]
    A dejected James Graham of the Bulldogs after a loss.Source: AAP
    That made things a bit awkward because I wasn’t able to share with my teammates that it was my last game until after full-time.

    I called Des on the Saturday, he was sick for the first time ever, so he wasn’t at our Captain’s Run training session.

    It wasn’t until after the training session that I called Ian Millward and Paul McGregor the news, and I thought it was important to tell Des, so I rang him and he dragged himself off his sickbed to pick up the phone so I could tell him the news.

    I told him I wanted the opportunity to address the players and I was able to do that in the dressing room after the game. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

    It was pretty hard for me to get my words out, I was a little bit lost there for a while.

    There’s some really great people at that football club and they’ve had such an impact on my life since I moved 12,000 miles across the world, so it was difficult for me to say that I was moving on and I wasn’t going to be sharing the dressing room with them again.

    I had a fantastic time at Canterbury, I made some great friends, and I think we’ll be friends for life.

    They’ve taught me so much about life and myself and I’ll be forever indebted to a lot of the people at that club, both staff and players too.

    That’s what I’ll miss most — the people at the club, I’ll never forget them. Not just the staff and the players but the fans and members too.

    I’ll always have a place in my heart and soul for the Bulldogs, that’s for sure.
     
  7. Dragsters

    Dragsters Juniors

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  8. BigBoss

    BigBoss Juniors

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    I love this blokes passion I just wish he was 5 years younger.
     
  9. hewi

    hewi Juniors

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    I worry about what they might have put into the glass of water or cup of tea that he had at that meeting. I also have dreams of where I want the mighty Dragons to go , my posts allude to that, however I can't get them there. What I'm trying to say is if McGregor sold him that crap then he should be selling swamp,land on the Goldcoast wearing white shoes and gold chains around his neck with his shirt buttons undone to the navel. The word I'm looking for is spiv I think.
     
  10. ALSGI

    ALSGI Juniors

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    Yep, good read but........

    Without going into too much detail, I was really impressed with the pitch. It’s clear to me that the Dragons are Paul McGregor’s team now and I think he’s done a great job since taking over.

    WTF ????
     
  11. gregstar

    gregstar Coach

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    what a puff piece.
    it reads like something douche would have written for him.
     
    Country Dragon likes this.
  12. JohnnoMcJohnno

    JohnnoMcJohnno Juniors

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    Let's just say he knows who is paying his wages for the next three years and leave it at that.
     
    emu62, gregstar and SEAT 1A like this.
  13. Bests Golden Boots

    Bests Golden Boots Juniors

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    No wonder the Bulldogs were keen to move him on, he's obviously put his head into one too many scrums
     
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  14. Saints Forever

    Saints Forever Juniors

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    Written by our spin department perhaps.

    Then again, what is the bloke supposed to say ?

    I am nearly stuffed. I live close to Wollongong and they will pay me well for my time there ?

    Graham is a smart guy.

    Our team is missing a couple of key personnel before we become premiership contenders.

    James Graham may prove to be one of the missing pieces.

    If the club can win a premiership with him despite our woeful coach and admin, I will be eternally gratetful to him.
     
    Dragsters, j0nesy, nontime111 and 4 others like this.
  15. Frank Facer

    Frank Facer Juniors

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    Many people have been saying that we can not attract top players with Mary as our coach and with Price before him. Well in the last 7 months we have signed the best halfback who was on the market and the arguably the best prop who was on the market, who changed clubs.

    I still want Mary sacked, but at least we have made 2 major signings with him as our coach.
     
  16. SEAT 1A

    SEAT 1A Juniors

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    He is a smart bloke. Didn't put his old club down and praised his new one.
     
  17. SBD82

    SBD82 Bench

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    I surely can't be the only one who is kind of hoping that he bites slater when we play the storm next year...
     
    Country Dragon likes this.
  18. Saintsified

    Saintsified Bench

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    If he signed with tigers the spin would be the same....money was right end story.
     
  19. Dracarys

    Dracarys Juniors

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    The Bulldogs are in Desarray.
     
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  20. nontime111

    nontime111 Juniors

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    Welcome to the Mighty Dragons James!

    So happy to have you!
     

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