Young St George Illawarra Dragons half Jayden Sullivan has opened up on the apparent contract chaos that resulted in him asking for a release from the Red V, claiming that he was happy to stay in red and white once the club offered greater clarity about his development and role within the team.
In his first interview since the infamous release request, Sullivan claimed that concerns over his own professional development combined with a communication breakdown with coach Anthony Griffin created questions over his future.
But Sullivan insists all of those concerns are behind him now after meeting with the coach and club officials about the matter, with the Dragons confirming their hope that he would stay to learn and develop behind Ben Hunt.
“I'm learning off Ben Hunt, not trying to take his position,” Sullivan told AAP.
“I'm not going to say it's my turn, I'm not a sook.
“I just want to learn as much as I can and I just felt like I wasn't learning anything coming off the bench for two minutes.”
Sullivan's uncertainty came at the same time as fellow young Dragon Tyrell Sloan, and Sullivan has revealed the duo made a pact to stay the course.
“When all that stuff was happening we sat down and really had a deep, hard think – do we really want to do this?” Sullivan said.
“He was in the same situation as me. Our communication was poor, between us and the coaches. We didn't really know how to have that tough conversation.
“The club knows I want to be a halfback… and playing out of position pretty much the whole year was a bit confusing.
“But I had a good chat with (Griffin) and all the coaching staff. We put myself in a direction and I'm eager to have a good pre-season and really rip in and show the Dragons what I'm capable of.”
Though Griffin will unquestionably face a mountain of pressure at the start of the season, Sullivan will enter 2022 with more direction after discussions with his coach.
“Our communication was a bit off, and that's from both ends,” Sullivan admitted.
“There were a few things that were a bit clashing. Our communication fell out the door.
“I wasn't kicking stones but I was confused on what I meant to the team. One week I was in, one week I was out.
“But the club has definitely given me a direction of where my career should go.”