Dyldam Parramatta Eels halfback Luke Kelly says he can’t wait to get out on the field with his new halves partner Corey Norman this Sunday in our season opener against the New Zealand Warriors.
Pulling on the number 7 jersey with a new-look Blue and Gold outfit, Kelly says the side is ready to show their improved efforts for 2014.
“Coming off two spoons we’re in no position to be saying what we’re going to be doing this year, but the best way we can show that we’re going to improve is through our actions and we’re going to get a good chance on Sunday,” Kelly said.
“Brad’s very specific in what he wants, and we’ve been doing a lot of work on our defence and that’s the key to winning most football games, so I think if we can do that, we’ll go a long way to performing well.”
After a very public competition for the starting halfback position, Kelly says he’s put plenty of work in the pre-season and hopefully can cement the spot all year.
“Everyone comes to pre-season wanting a starting spot, so I worked hard and Brad named the team this week and I’m happy to be a part of it,” he said.
“We’re doing all the right things at the moment - obviously that doesn’t mean you’re going to win footy games, but the best way we can [show it] is through our actions.”
Partnering with likeable larrikin Corey Norman in the halves for the first NRL Premiership match is something Kelly admits will be challenging, but it’s one he’s ready for.
“We’ve not played a lot of footy together, but we’ve trained hard as everyone else has in the pre-season; so it’s going to take time, but hopefully we put in a good performance,” he said.
“[Corey’s] a very good ball runner, we’ve seen that from his time in Brisbane, and he’s very talkative and loves a chat and gets the boys going - they’re his two biggest attributes.”
Kelly says the Warriors will be a good test for the Eels to see how their pre-season training has been going, with both side looking to kick-off their season with success.
“They’re a big, fast team and they’ve got a lot of weapons across the field, and they’ve got Shaun Johnson who had a really good preseason and played well in the Nines,” he said.
“They’ve got a lot of strike power across their team, so we’ll have to be on our game.”