EARLIER this season two new international player signed at Workington Town, bringing a buzz to the club with their arrivals.

This week, they sat down with Times & Star chief reporter Bridget Dempsey to discuss what life has been like for them since arriving in England back in May and how they have found being part of the historic community club.

Pone Tongia, 25, who originally hails from Tonga, moved to New Zealand at 12 to pursue a passion for rugby, later moving to Australia before deciding to come to the UK.

He said: "Obviously it's hard being away from home, but I have also wanted to come and chase my dreams of playing footie in England. It's been good though, it's pretty good in Maryport, I like how it's quiet."

Zarrin Galea, 23, who is from a small country town about five hours inland from Sydney in New South Wales, has also played international test matches for Malta.

He said: "I'm a country boy so places like this are pretty familiar with me and sort of make me feel like I'm at home.

"Coming from a country background, I think the whole community is just like it was at home. Everybody says hello or 'G'day Marra'... it makes you feel like at home. About one week in I rang my mum up - I'm really close with my mum - and said: 'I've made the right decision coming here'.

"Everyone just welcomed us with open arms."

Although the results haven't always been easy, both men say they have loved being part of the club and are proud to put the blue and white jersey on every week.

Pone said: "Everyone is very welcoming. For myself its a great club, everyone is very positive and passionate about footie. You can see that every week. We don't always get the results every week but everyone is not giving up on us players, they always turn up.

"Putting on the jersey not just for the fans, but yourself and family back home... it's a privilege and I am proud to wear the Town jersey."

Zarrin said: "What I have gathered since being here is that it's a real working class area like where I come from. Mum raised me in a very working class background. I understand how it is and to play for such a historic club. You want to give back.

"I wear my heart on my sleeve no matter where I am at, but here it just feels special and I can resonate with the people a lot more. It's such a proud feeling."

The pair have been experiencing new things since starting at Town, recently hiking up Skiddaw with fellow player Grant Reid, as well as visiting the Lakes and also visiting places in Europe when they have had the chance at a week off.

They have also been learning the local dialect, which both admit was slightly difficult at first. Pone has an affection for the word 'Marra', which he says will be one he takes with him when he visits home, and Zarrin liking the phrase 'Garn Yam', which he's picked up while in West Cumbria.

And what do they think on the future of the club? The pair both think it's pretty bright, with opportunities to build moving forward.

Pone said: "I know the club wants to go further. I'm sure that the club wants to get to the Championship and on to Super League one day. That's what I want for the club as well, but it comes down to us players, just building day by day, week by week... but that's the big goal."

Zarrin is on a two-year contract with the club until 2025 and hopes to see himself with the team 'for quite a while'.

He said: "At the moment I just love playing for the Town and hope to be here for a very long time."

The pair are set to hit out for the club this Sunday, June 30 when Town play Keighley Cougars at home at 2pm. Early bird tickets are available for the game here.