Anthony Gelling says he is aiming to do something ‘special’ with New Zealand Warriors this year.
The 27-year-old was granted an early release from his contract with Super League side Wigan Warriors in the off-season to return to his native New Zealand to be closer to his family and six seasons in England.
Having left Wigan, Gelling had no club to go to but he has been offered a one-year deal with NRL giants New Zealand Warriors.
And the Cook Islands international now wants to put his stamp on the NRL in the next 12 months.
“I have got one year to do something special,” Gelling told NRL.com.
“We have got a special team and to come back here and win the comp would be unreal.
“It is not the normal way of changing clubs, I suppose, but I am happy with how it has turned out.”
Originally, Gelling had been told that there was ‘no room at the inn’ at the Warriors so was looking at switching codes and playing Rugby Union.
However, things to a turn for the better and he was given a lifeline.
It’s not going to be easy for Gelling to get into the team though, with there already being four international centres at the club in New Zealand pair Gerard Beale and Peta Hiku as well as Tonga duo David Fusitu’a and Solomone Kata.
“I had a sit down with some of the coaching staff and they told me the squad was full but maybe 2019 would be an option,” Gelling added.
“If you want to play Rugby League in New Zealand, there is only one top-flight club so I was looking at Rugby Union in August in Northland. I met with their coach and looked around their facilities but I didn’t want to be sitting around for so long so I had been looking at jobs or studying.
“It is a good vibe here and I think we have got a good squad. Everybody loves an underdog and that is what we are.
“I consider myself a huge underdog coming here on a one-year deal to a team that is the home of the underdogs. We haven’t made the top eight for six years so it would be like a fairytale story to go all the way and win it this year.”