Dyldam Parramatta Eels co-captain Tim Mannah says the side is ready to prove itself in tomorrow night’s Round 1 clash against the New Zealand Warriors - with nothing to lose in 2014.
Mannah will lead a side containing three club debutants, and an NRL debutant in Manu Ma’u - and he says it’s going to be an exciting ride.
“Everyone is really positive, we’ve had some really exciting changes in the off-season and a lot of new faces which have added a spring to everyone’s step,” he said.
“So everyone’s excited to try out our new combinations tomorrow… after working so hard all summer.”
With some familiar Eels faces relegated to playing NSW Cup in Round 1, Mannah says it’s great to have the depth in the side where everyone’s competing just to be selected.
“Semi [Radradra] and Vai [Toutai] picked for the wing, it’s really exciting - the depth we have and the competition for spots,” he said.
“When there’s healthy competition it makes a good culture and atmosphere at training, we’ve got a lot of new guys with real hunger and a lot of guys been here a while who want to proves a lot of people wrong.”
Mannah says he’s hoping to see a passionate and vocal crowd of Eels supporters at Pirtek Stadium tomorrow night, showing the pride of the Blue and Gold Army up against the Warriors.
“[The Warriors] have had really solid trial form and they’ve got strength all across the park and have key players that can do a lot of damage, so we’ve definitely done our homework,” Mannah said.
“But it’s also about our own backyard tomorrow, we’re playing at Pirtek Stadium and we want to play with a lot of pride and be competitive every week - that’s our goal.”
Kick off is at 6.30pm tomorrow night, with gates opening at 4pm ahead of the NYC curtain-raiser at 4.15pm.
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