Eels Run Out to Member Messages
In Round One, the Dyldam Parramatta Eels have run out onto Pirtek Stadium in Parramatta past messages of support from the loyal Blue and Gold Army.
Before the 2014 NRL Premiership season kicked off, we asked all Eels Members to send in their messages of motivation, inspiration and support to the squad, receiving hundreds of entries.
Of these, a selection of messages from Members all over Australia were printed and displayed along the walls of the tunnel outside the Eels' dressing sheds, giving the team a last boost before they hit the paddock.
And as the players prepared for their Round One fixture, the Membership tally continued to rise, with the 14,000th Eel Member signing up just before gates opened.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels Chief Operating Officer John Boulous says the Blue and Gold Army has been growing in record numbers this pre-season.
"To sign up 14,000 Members by Round One shows how much support there is for the Parramatta Eels not just in Western Sydney, but all over Australia," Boulous said.
"It's a more than 16% increase from last year, and it puts us in a fantastic position to reach 15,000 Members in the next few weeks, and our goal of 20,000 Members this season."
Of course, there's an added incentive for the Eels to reach 15,000 Members before the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, with CEO Raelene Castle throwing down the challenge that the first of the two clubs to break the 15K mark can fly their flag at the opposition's headquarters.
"We'd certainly love to win that Race to 20K bet with the Bulldogs and raise the Blue and Gold Army flag at Belmore," Boulous said.
Thank you to all the incredible Members who added their messages to the tunnel to inspire the side in Round One!