Tawhai hails Skolars' double transfer deal
They herald from opposite sides of the globe, but now Paul Foreman and Lydan Maitua are joining forces at London Skolars. The north London rugby league club has just begun its fifth professional season, having come ninth in National League Two last year.
They herald from opposite sides of the globe, but now Paul Foreman and Lydan Maitua are joining forces at London Skolars.
The north London rugby league club has just begun its fifth professional season, having come ninth in National League Two last year.
And with the arrival of Foreman, a 24-year-old English halfback, and Maitua, a 22-year-old Australian stand-off, there is genuine belief in the dressing room that this could be a break-through season for the club.
"We've progressed every year since we formed and with the new signings everyone is hoping we can finish in the play-offs this year," said coach Latham Tawhai.
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"Lydan is a great signing because he can offer us the whole package in terms of footballing ability.
"He has good passing, he's a solid defender and despite being fairly young he has good pedigree from his time with the Bulldogs' reserves in Australia.
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"Likewise, Paul has great hands, communicates well and he has a fantastic attitude to training.
"One of our aims is to build up a core of British talent instead of relying on antipodeans, and Paul is part of that plan."
However, the new boys could hardly have been handed a tougher start to their Skolars careers.
In this year's National Rail Cup, - an important precursor to the league campaign - the team has been pooled with two ex-Super League clubs, Widnes and Leigh, and wealthy League Two rivals Celtic Crusaders.
Skolars lost their first game at home to Leigh 52-8, but improved considerably for an away clash with the Crusaders last weekend, which they lost 44-28. This Sunday, they travel to Widnes.
"We haven't disgraced ourselves so far in the cup and there's no reason why we should against Widnes," said Foreman, who has joined from York City Knights.
"As the coach has been telling us, it's more about the performance than the result."
Maitua reckons it will take a little time for him to adapt to life in the capital - both on and off the pitch. "I think I'm fitting in really well at the club, but the one thing I haven't got used to is the weather," he said.
The 2007 league season begins in April, following the Cup.