Valentine Holmes said he has no regrets over his failed NFL dream after returning to the NRL via the North Queensland Cowboys.
Holmes moved to the Cowboys on a six-year deal following his release from the New York Jets’ practice squad on Friday.
Like Jarryd Hayne before him, Holmes left rugby league to pursue a career in American football, but he failed to make the Jets’ 53-man playing roster after joining the International Player Pathway Program.
Fronting the media on Monday, Holmes said: “It was a quite difficult decision [to leave the New York Jets]. I made big sacrifices on the decision going over.
“I don’t have any regrets on the decision going over. I learned a lot as a person and as an athlete … I was more so just out there to explore things.”
Watch Valentine Holmes’ first press conference as a Cowboy!
— NQ Cowboys (@nthqldcowboys) November 25, 2019
The 24-year-old added: “I feel a bit stronger, bit faster, bit better agility-wise but my stamina is something I will have to focus on and my ball skills. I haven’t played footy in a while but I am sure I will get it back.”
Holmes scored 22 tries in 26 games for Cronulla Sharks in 2018 before packing his bags and heading to USA.
“To show that faith in me is awesome and I will try to show it back when I play – I am here to win, that is what my mindset is going to be,” Townsville-born Holmes said.
“It was a kind of an easy decision [signing with Cowboys]. I have family here, have friends here from school and I have always loved the Cowboys since I was growing up. It’s good to be back home.”