Infotainment Factory: Norman puts 'party boy' days behind at Dragons

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Thursday, 7 February 2019

Norman puts 'party boy' days behind at Dragons


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Corey Norman insists he has left his chequered history behind him as he prepares for a fresh start at St George Illawarra this NRL season.

That outlook was in doubt barely a week into his Dragons' career after a video emerged in January of him standing with an elderly snorting lines of powder.

However the club and NRL integrity unit quickly revealed that the video was a number of years old, and the former Parramatta star would go unpunished.

Norman was banned for eight games and fined $20,000 for breaches of his Eels contract in 2016, including being caught in possession of drugs.

Corey Norman

Norman has since worked hard to repair a battered image but feared the worst when ghosts of his past had come back to haunt him earlier this year.

"I felt bad for the boys and definitely (coach Paul McGregor) because obviously it's a new club and I dealt with that three years ago," Norman told AAP.

"That's not me and it's all been behind me.

"For it to come out, I just didn't want to bring that drama over to the new club, the boys, and the fans. That was a bit annoying but it is what it is."

The Dragons recruit has welcomed the move to Wollongong, having long been blamed as part of the Eels' on-field woes in recent seasons.

He also had to deal with constant speculation around his playing future for most of last year, including a possible switch to Gold Coast.

Norman admits his tarnished image had affected how other clubs perceived him, but was surprised when McGregor failed to broach the topic during negotiations.

"It's no secret that I've got the reputation of a party boy," he said.

"But that's just people reading an article or seeing a video and thinking they know you and just judging you. You ask the people who actually know me.

"Mary was very good. He said, 'The past is the past and you're here for a clean slate'. To be honest, he didn't even bring it up. I thought it was really good of him."

Having turned 28 on the weekend, Norman is now intent on fitting into a Dragons side that led the league for half of last season before falling away.

Despite assumptions his arrival would shift captain Gareth Widdop to fullback, Norman hinted at the possibility of starting the season in the No.1 jumper.

"I prefer five-eighth. I feel like that's where I'm going to get my best footy. But I can play fullback as well, and you're probably see me back there this year," he said.

"I'm probably more open to it because 'Gaz' is a quality five-eighth. We can help each other out there and be a bit more dangerous if we both pop up either side."

Corey Norman insists he has left his chequered history behind him as he prepares for a fresh start at St George Illawarra this NRL season.

That outlook was in doubt barely a week into his Dragons' career after a video emerged in January of him standing with an elderly snorting lines of powder.

However the club and NRL integrity unit quickly revealed that the video was a number of years old, and the former Parramatta star would go unpunished.

Norman was banned for eight games and fined $20,000 for breaches of his Eels contract in 2016, including being caught in possession of drugs.

Corey Norman

Norman has since worked hard to repair a battered image but feared the worst when ghosts of his past had come back to haunt him earlier this year.

"I felt bad for the boys and definitely (coach Paul McGregor) because obviously it's a new club and I dealt with that three years ago," Norman told AAP.

"That's not me and it's all been behind me.

"For it to come out, I just didn't want to bring that drama over to the new club, the boys, and the fans. That was a bit annoying but it is what it is."

The Dragons recruit has welcomed the move to Wollongong, having long been blamed as part of the Eels' on-field woes in recent seasons.

He also had to deal with constant speculation around his playing future for most of last year, including a possible switch to Gold Coast.

Norman admits his tarnished image had affected how other clubs perceived him, but was surprised when McGregor failed to broach the topic during negotiations.

"It's no secret that I've got the reputation of a party boy," he said.

"But that's just people reading an article or seeing a video and thinking they know you and just judging you. You ask the people who actually know me.

"Mary was very good. He said, 'The past is the past and you're here for a clean slate'. To be honest, he didn't even bring it up. I thought it was really good of him."

Having turned 28 on the weekend, Norman is now intent on fitting into a Dragons side that led the league for half of last season before falling away.

Despite assumptions his arrival would shift captain Gareth Widdop to fullback, Norman hinted at the possibility of starting the season in the No.1 jumper.

"I prefer five-eighth. I feel like that's where I'm going to get my best footy. But I can play fullback as well, and you're probably see me back there this year," he said.

"I'm probably more open to it because 'Gaz' is a quality five-eighth. We can help each other out there and be a bit more dangerous if we both pop up either side."

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