Pirtek Parramatta Eels halfback Luke Kelly says he's stoked the club is taking two games every year to the Northern Territory from next season, where he spent his entire junior rugby league career.


The Eels will play a pre-season game in Alice Springs and a regular season in Darwin annually from 2014 to 2017.


"I'm definitely excited - not only for myself and the club, but a lot of my family back home are extremely excited as well," he said.


"And I think the community up there will be very excited to have us."


Kelly says the rugby league community in the Northern Territory is surprisingly robust - with the fans looking forward to seeing their NRL heroes.


"You'd be surprised - everyone knows the players and has a team that they support, and going up there next year you'll see how much support not only rugby league has in general, but the Parramatta Eels as well," he said.





As for the Blue and Gold fans coming out of the woodwork, he quipped:


"I think we'll hopefully have most of the crowd on our side!"


Apart from the pre-season football game in Alice Springs and the regular season game in Darwin, the Eels will be participating in many community activities.


"Being a former member of the Northern Territory community, they don't get to see much NRL action by way of players and games, so they're going to warm to it and will be just as excited as we are," he said.


But the one thing Luke won't be used to is the heat!


"I've been away for a long time now so I'll probably be struggling like the rest of the boys," he laughed.


"So I'll have to do some acclimatisation when Im up there in the off-season!"