NRL 2021: Manly’s Josh Aloiai on Tigers split, playing finals football
NRL 2021: Manly’s Josh Aloiai on Tigers split, playing finals football

Aloiai knows he’ll win fight against ‘immature’ Tigers

New Manly recruit Josh Aloiai believes he would win a media battle over his exit at Concord, as the forward labelled comments made by Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis as "immature".

In November, Chairman Hagipantelis told News Corp that Aloiai was "either a Wests Tiger or he is mowing the lawns at Leichhardt or Campbelltown or painting the change rooms at Concord - as long as he fulfils his contract", after the 25-year old requested an immediate release from his contract.

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Aloiai eventually got his release, and could come face-to-face with Hagipantelis and CEO Justin Pascoe when the Sea Eagles takes on the Tigers in 12 days in a trial match at Leichhardt Oval.

On Monday, Aloiai finally hit back at the comments that he believed further added fuel to an already volatile situation.

"I think it was a little immature with everything that was happening. It didn't kind of help. It fuelled the furnace and gave people a lot of ammo [ammunition]," Aloiai said.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles player Josh Aloiai during a weights training session. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles player Josh Aloiai during a weights training session. Picture: Jonathan Ng

"Just because things that a few might have done at the club … I'm actually really happy with the way I went out. I got to hold my integrity, the way I went out."

Initially, Aloiai responded to Hagipantelis' comments with a post on social media with his head photoshopped on to a gardener mowing a lawn with the caption "I'll make sure it's a super fast track boys".

That post was quickly removed.

Aloiai's relationship with the Tigers administration soured rapidly late last year but the Samoan international has implored Tigers fans to read between the lines and draw their own conclusions over the fallout.

 

Josh Aloiai mocks the Wests Tigers on Instagram.
Josh Aloiai mocks the Wests Tigers on Instagram.

 

"They have to ask the question would I randomly get unhappy and spit the dummy or has more happened?," Aloiai said.

"I'm not going to give specifics … I sat down, I was in a position to ask myself 'do I wanna finish on a media battle? That I would win. Would I win it? Yes, I would if the specifics came out.

"Or do I want to take into consideration all my friends and the playing group at the Wests Tigers.

"Am I willing to put the club, where I played just about 100 games for through a media storm because of a few people?

"Those are the questions I was left with. Or do I be selfless and absorb the punches - as you've seen I absorbed a fair few punches - and just say let it be. I'm not going to let a small window at the end overshadow everything that happened while I was at the Tigers."

Aloiai refused to delve into the 'specifics' but did insinuate the fact he remains on good terms with Michael Maguire suggests there was 'more to the story' than Aloiai is willing to publicly discuss.

 

Josh Aloiai believes he would win a media battle over his Tigers exit. Credit: Sea Eagles Digital
Josh Aloiai believes he would win a media battle over his Tigers exit. Credit: Sea Eagles Digital

 

"Funnily enough, people don't know that he was disappointed with me and said 'there will be a missing piece when we start back and you're not part of the puzzle'," Aloiai said.

"He did wish me and my family the best so me and him finished with a phone call and we had a good talk.

"That's when I say there is a lot more to it, there is no bad blood between me and the players."

Aloiai said he would take the high road if he meets the Tigers bosses.

 

 

"I personally, would be man enough to be civil," Aloiai said.

But fans can expect more fireworks on the field where Aloiai is planning to be anything but civil.

"I think that's the plan to get some time in the trial in trial against the Tigers," Aloiai said.

"I'm going to be aggressive like I always am.

"I've good relationships [with the players]. It doesn't change football though. I'm going to get out there and I am going to compete."

 

Originally published as Aloiai knows he'll win fight against 'immature' Tigers


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