See below for the letter that was sent out to members and Eels Insiders:
Today we would like to provide you with an update on the Pirtek Parramatta Eels' recruitment and retention plans for next season and beyond.
Our performances on the field this season have been tough on all of us, Members and fans included. The results that we have delivered as a club are not worthy of the passion and pride that the Blue and Gold Army show each week. It is our job to provide you with a team that you can believe in your heart of hearts will be in the contest when the final whistle blows.
There has been much speculation about what we are doing in regards to player retention and recruitment. We would like to clear as much of that up for you as we can, given that we do have confidentiality and commercial disclosure issues to consider. We thank you for understanding that it is simply not sensible or practical to share all information with you at all times.
We are in the market for top line players. We have a plan and are moving positively towards fulfilling it. We are active and aggressive in our approach and will soon add to our new 2014 recruits Will Hopoate, Corey Norman, Gareth Hock and Lee Mossop.
In June we made tough decisions but it was done so we could achieve our vision of delivering you with the Number 1 Club in the Greatest Game of All. Your support and understanding has been largely positive and greatly appreciated. Having said that it is important to note that full disclosure can only go so far. We gave all players an undertaking that we would not be discussing individual players unless they chose to make their position public. We have honoured that commitment and will continue to do so.
Our decision to implement significant change to the playing roster for next season and beyond meant providing some players with an opportunity to find another club before the June 30 deadline. Two players have sought out, and in turn been granted, a mid-season release; NRL squad member Matt Eisenhuth will head to the Panthers while NYC forward Chad McGill has headed south to Cronulla. We are also aware that several other players are in discussions with rival clubs for next year.
While this season has fallen short of expectation, circumstances have opened the door for a special group of young players to be elevated into the top grade. Today we are pleased to announce the re-signing of a number of our 2013 debutants: Kelepi Tanginoa, Kaysa Pritchard and Peni Terepo through till 2015 and Junior Paulo till 2016. They join a list of other key players we have re-signed this season in Jarryd Hayne, Jacob Loko, Mitchell Allgood and Ryan Morgan all through till at least the end of 2015.
What has also provided us with an increased level of confidence in the future is the next wave of talented players coming through the ranks. The Parramatta Eels Under 16s won the National Title earlier this year, while a number of our Under 18s team have been elevated to our NYC squad. This should give us all great confidence in the work being done in our junior elite pathways programs and game development.
The club has also signed a number of our other young stars to extended deals. NYC prop Pauli Pauli has re-signed with the Eels through till 2015 as has teammate and NSW Under 18s hooker Zach Dockar-Clay. Tyrell Fuimaino was also selected in that side making him the first product of the NRLs Indigenous School to Work program to play representative football. His services are secured at the Eels until at least 2016.
The other young gun that we are happy to announce the signing of today is Tepai Moeroa. This 17 year old is a phenomenal athlete who has recently joined the NYC Squad and is already making a tremendous impact. Also selected in the NSW U/18s for the second consecutive year, he was forced to withdraw due to school commitments. Currently studying at Newington College, Moeroa is an Australian Schoolboys Rugby Union representative and also the National Schools Open Age shot put Champion. The Seven Hills junior has signed a deal to remain in blue and gold till 2015.
In coming weeks we hope to bring you news of more substantial developments in recruitment and retention. Our plans for the future are taking shape and I sincerely hope our Members and fans can take confidence from that. We are committed to keeping you updated and making sure that as Parramatta Members you are hearing the news about your club from your club first.
Following, for your information, is an overview of the status of our playing group as of today:
SIGNED FOR 2014 AND BEYOND:
RE-SIGNED FOR 2014 AND BEYOND:
ON CONTRACT FOR 2014*:
Cheyse Blair (2015)
Darcy Lussick (2015)
Chris Sandow (2015)
Jake Mullaney (2015)
OFF CONTRACT AT THE END OF 2013*:
Taulima Tautai (released)
Jason Seige (released)
Matthew Eisenhuth (released)
Rory Brien (released)
Marmin Barba (released)
Chad McGill (released)
* We are currently in negotiations with a number of these players.
Ken Edwards - Parramatta Eels CEO
Ricky Stuart - Parramatta Eels Head Coach