Dragons young gun Tyrell Sloan reveals honest conversations with Anthony Griffin

Dragons young gun Tyrell Sloan has admitted he didn’t handle his ax as well as he could in 2022 and engaged in some honest conversations that led to a career change.

The 20-year-old made just eight appearances last year, with the Red V trending towards Cody Ramsey as their first-choice full-back in the second half of the season.

Sloan had to ply his trade in the reserve class with St. George Illawarra before finally pleading with close friend Jayden Sullivan for an off-season release from his contract.

But after some warm conversations with Anthony Griffin and other Dragons officials, the pair decided to stay put and are now in starting positions with the team.

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Speaking of Fox League Podcast, Sloan has been open about his struggles at the top grade, admitting he was looking for excuses and reasons why he wasn’t the first-choice full-back.

“It’s been ups and downs throughout 2022, but I don’t blame anyone else but myself,” he said.

“I didn’t put myself in the best position to play number 1 or even first grade. I probably kicked rocks a bit since I was a teenager at the time, and I kind of sought who was to blame instead of looking at myself in the mirror.

“I was so happy to come into this off-season and try to win back the respect of my teammates and also my coaches.

“We caught up, Hook was very open and honest, he said he wasn’t communicating in the best way with me and that caused us to disagree.

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“Being such a young kid I probably thought I knew everything and obviously I didn’t, I’m still learning. It took us both to be men together and we want to be successful, at the end of the day it had nothing to do with footy.

“I wanted to get stronger as a player and better as a person… we sorted out everything that happened in 2022 and we pushed that all aside.

“I’ve been asking for a release all year and I’ve got it all behind me now, I’m a St. George Dragon.

“We’ve moved on now and I see Hook as a great coach and an even better guy.”

Sloan endured a tough offseason, making multiple errors in Charity Shield’s loss to the Rabbitohs and immediately putting pressure on himself as a defender for the Dragons.

But in the side’s Round 2 clash with the Titans, the local junior proved why the club invested so much time in their future, scoring a try and setting up two more in the 32-18 win.

And in a surprising revelation, it was a stern message from his grandmother that lit the fuse for Sloan.

“She told me quite bluntly, I don’t really talk to her about football, but she could tell there was something going on in the off-season and throughout the year,” he said.

“With Nan, she just told me stop being a jerk and I’m 20 years old now… she’s seen me since I was a kid.

“She said, ‘Stop being a sook, man, and talk to the coach’ — we did it and now I’m praising Hook and what he’s done for me.

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“It was quite a tough moment asking for a release from a club that has had my back since I was 13, 14 – and if I’m honest now I couldn’t let it go, my grandma down here and mine to have brother and all my friends and family.

“In hindsight I wouldn’t be able to move, everything happens for a reason, obviously I cracked the No 1 jersey.”

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