Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward David Gower has called on the Blue and Gold Army to come out in force for Saturday’s Battle of the West clash against the Penrith Panthers and help the team get over the line. 

After coming agonisingly close in his club debut against the Sea Eagles in Round 3, Gower says he’s learned Eels supporters are very vocal - and their support means a lot. 

“It was a proud moment for me, it’s a proud history here and the Eels are a great club, and the fans are very vocal and supportive, so hopefully I get to pull on the Parramatta jersey a lot more times,” Gower said. 

“I’m hoping the Members and supporters get out in numbers and support us, the ‘Battle of the West’ is a local derby for us, and the more support we get the better.”

“We do hear them on the field, so hopefully they come out and be as vocal as they did in Round 1.”

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The last-minute defeat at the hands of the 2013 Grand Finalists is still fresh in the players’ minds, but Gower wants to use it is motivation to get over the line this weekend. 

“Up until he 79th minute, it did feel [like we could pull off an upset], but we’re not satisfied with almost beating Manly,” he said. 

“They’re a great side and have been for a decade, but we don’t want to come close to beating top sides, we want to beat them and probably should have beat them, but we didn’t, so going forward we need to find a way to win those close games and play for the full 80 minutes and not just 79.”

Gower, like rugby league fans everywhere, is excited to watch his teammate Will Hopoate improve every week after returning to the game after two years away. 

“He’s a great young man, really dedicated and really professional and he brings an air of confidence and enthusiasm to everyone around him, and he’s going to keep getting better each week and he’s going to show what he’s capable of,” he said. 

“He’s got a great head on his shoulders and he brings a lot to the team; and he’s a really good fellow to have around the club, for sure.”

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