Mummy’s boy Idris happy to be home
THE Jamal Idris of 2014 is a much more mature one compared to previous versions.
And that is why the massive centre believes he is ready for a bumper season at his new club Penrith.
Still just 23, the man from Forster on the mid-north coast of New South Wales is enjoying being back in Sydney - the city he described as a rat race and was happy to move away from after joining the Gold Coast in 2012.
But now he is selflessly living with, and looking after, his sick mother Alana at her home in Regents Park - a 40-minute drive from Penrith.
"It's been really good," Idris told APN. "Sydney was too much for me back then, but with age comes maturity.
"I've got a lot of friends down here and it's been nice to be able to go and see them.
"It's all right living with Mum. I've always been a big mummy's boy and I'm not afraid to admit that.
"It's funny you asked me about her, because she just cooked me a beef soup, and it's good."
One of the sport's genuine characters, Idris has also done plenty of work on the training paddock this summer - stuff he doesn't enjoy, but knows has to be done.
"I don't usually run too much, but Ronnie (Panthers trainer Ronnie Palmer) has been getting me to do plenty," Idris said. "I generally do a lot of stuff indoors at the gym, but it's been good to get some miles in my legs."
Idris said the strength in his lower-body is back, after his 2013 season was cut short due to a broken leg. "The leg feels really good. I've been back in full contact training now for the past two-and-a-half months," he said.
Idris said he had no problem missing out on the inaugural Auckland Nines tournament this weekend.
Instead, he was picked to play in a trial against Parramatta at Sportingbet Stadium tomorrow night.
And in one more sign of his newfound maturity, he added he hadn't even thought about breaking back into the New South Wales State of Origin team this year.
"Coming back from injury, it wouldn't make much sense going straight into a nines tournament, would it?" Idris said. "I never focus on the rep stuff. I just want to play good football at the Panthers."