Roosters move 'wasn't about the money', says Tedesco
JAMES Tedesco has opened up on his decision to quit the Wests Tigers for the Sydney Roosters in a move he is adamant wasn't driven by money.
The NSW No.1 will move to the Chooks on a handsome four-year deal from next season but revealed if his decision was driven by the dollar, the more lucrative offer would've been to remain in Concord.
In search of a change and sustained success on the paddock, joining a strong club was a major drawcard for the Camden product.
While Tedesco's decision was met with great uproar form the Tigers faithful, who labelled the custodian "money hungry" on social media, he said he can understand why they are upset but insists the move wasn't motivated by cash.
"The Tigers had a great offer money wise, it wasn't about the money at all really," Tedesco said from Blues camp in Kingscliff.
"It was a good opportunity for me to be at a strong club.
"Obviously the fans are going to be disappointed and upset. They're pretty passionate and I can't thank them enough for their support over the last five or so years.
"The club has done great things for me and gave me my start so it's understandable for fans being upset. It's all part of the game these days."
There's no denying the contract drama at the Tigers was a contributing factor to Jason Taylor's demise.
Aaron Woods, Luke Brooks, Mitchell Moses were all off-contract at the same time in a contract circus that threatened to rip the club apart.
Funnily Tedesco's former coach, Taylor, has since returned to the Roosters as an assistant coach. They'll be forced to work with each other next year but that won't be an issue.
Since Taylor's exit from Concord, Tedesco, Woods and Moses have all decided to move on.
Moses has already left the club for a fresh start at Parramatta, while the NSW Origin pair will head off at the end of the season with Woods to the Bulldogs and Tedesco the Tricolours.
"It was a tough decision," Tedesco said.
"It obviously dragged on a bit through the media.
"I told everyone I wanted to take my time, obviously with what happened last time, it was a rushed decision. I obviously changed my mind on that.
"Roosters are a strong club. I thought I wanted a fresh start. There's obviously been a lot of dramas at the club at Tigers so far and I had the opportunity to go over to Roosters where I was a supporter of them as a kid.
"(Roosters legend Anthony) Minichiello, I spoke to him a fair few times through out it all and to have the opportunity to go over there and work pretty closely with him was pretty enticing for me. I'm looking forward to that next year but I've still focused on this year for the Tigers."
Now in camp with the Blues and free of contract stresses, Tedesco confessed he feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
With clarity on where he's headed and the Origin series opener on Wednesday to focus on, the 24-year-old believes he can finally give all his attention to playing football.
"To get away from that for a bit and have it all sorted is good," he said of contract drama.
"We had the dramas with Mitch and that the last few weeks as well so to have all that sorted, hopefully we can turn our season around because we've had pretty disappointing results the last few weeks.
"I'm looking forward to getting on with the season."