North Queensland recruit Willie Mason says he will have “no excuses” not to perform for his new club in 2010.
Mason, who penned a one-year deal last week, has also hit out at the NRL clubs that refused to sign him due to a reputation that he says he does not deserve.
He told a press conference in Townsville: “When you are under pressure, and your livelihood is on the line … I have never been in that position before.”
“I am interested to see what I have got.”
“This year there is no holding back, I will be coming out of the blocks 100 per cent.
“I’ve got no excuses this year.
“I will be fit, I will be ready to go – nothing is going to stop me from playing good football.”
Mason was banished from the Roosters by new boss Brian Smith and despite an extended sabbatical from training he was unable to find a new club.
Perceived interest from Manly and Melbourne failed to materialise leaving just Newcastle and North Queensland in the market to sign the 29-year-old.
He added: “When you look at it, you’ve got the coach, most senior players and CEOs coming out saying ‘yeah we want him at our club’, but it gets to a board meeting and you’ve got fat businessmen making decisions on your career.”
“It wasn’t taking on a toll on my pride or anything, it made me angry a little bit.”
He also took a shot at the media, saying much of the coverage was unfair.
“It was a bit of a joke wasn’t it,” he said.
“I was perceived as a monster really.”