Former Eel Keating joins Bears' den

Former Parramatta Eels hooker Matt Keating has signed with the Burleigh Bears for the 2014 Intrust Super Cup season.


Between 2008 and 2013 Keating played 129 NRL games for Parramatta, including the 2009 grand final.


He finished with Parramatta at season's end and is now moving to the Gold Coast to be with his fiance who is a Gold Coast native.


It's obviously going to be something different to what Ive experienced in the last few years, Keating said of his move to the Gold Coast and the Intrust Super Cup.


But me moving up to the Gold Coast is a good thing. Im getting married soon and thats where the missus is from. Shes happy to come home and Im happy to join her.


On the footy side of things I cant wait. Im looking forward to starting training in about a month and seeing all the boys and all the people around the club.


Its going to be something new for me but its something that Im really looking forward to.


Bears coach Carl Briggs was delighted with the signing and said he couldnt put a price on Keatings value to the playing group.


Its an outstanding signing for us not only on the field but off the field as well, he said.


Hes been in a professional environment as a fulltime footballer for a long time and hes not old either.


The direction he will bring on the field and what hell give to the other players around him will be immense."


Keating heads the list of recruits for the Bears ahead of the 2014 season so far that includes 2013 FOGS A grade player of the year Khan Ahwang and Queensland Rangers representatives Shaun Maloney and Chris Kitching (Tugun).


Other signings include Gold Coast Titans NYC players and Gold Coast juniors Mitcham Ardler, Mitchell Hall and Kyle McConnell.