Heading into out last home game of the 2014 season, our weekly Ladies Who League columnist, Mary, looks back at a year of footy and prepares to farewell some of her favourites. You can find more of her work at ladieswholeague.com.
It seems like only a few short weeks ago that I was looking forward with apprehension towards the beginning of the NRL season and Parramatta's first home game for 2014.
After a long off-season, I feel like our first home game of the year at Parramatta Stadium is akin to me 'coming home'. At that point of the season, the possibilities are endless and I look forward to sharing the rest of the season with my Parramatta family - my fellow Parramatta supporters that sit in my bay.
This is why I'm still in shock that this Friday night marks our final home game of the season for 2014 and it's going to be special for so many reasons.
First of all - let's talk football. The Parramatta Eels put in a very committed performance against the Bulldogs and in my view, were very unlucky not to come away with the 2 points. We are still in with a fighting chance to make the top 8 and judging by interviews this week with the likes of Jarryd Hayne and David Gower, the Eels will certainly not go down without a fight.
Manly are tough opposition, but with Peni and Junior returning this week, a fire in our belly and in front of a full house at Pirtek Stadium I'm confident that we can come away with the 2 points.
Not only is this an exceptionally important football game, but it will also be the last game for 3 men who have called Parramatta home throughout their career. The first is Willie Tonga, who started his career with the Eels and is now finishing it there too. Fuifui Moimoi will also be leaving the blue and gold at the end of the year. He is a big fan favourite and I know I will miss changing 'Fuuuiiii' as I watch him run down the field.
The last player is Ben Smith and I am not ashamed to admit that I will probably shed a few tears for Ben as he runs onto Pirtek Stadium for the last time on Saturday. Over his years at the club, Ben has been one of my favourite players.
One of the true gentlemen of the game, Ben has played his entire career in blue and gold. Not only does he always have time for his fans, but he is a man who needs to be commended for his consistent service to the community. Benny Smith, we'll miss you and we're proud of your achievements for our Club.
Finally, this weekend, we will also be celebrating Members week at the Parramatta Eels.
My membership is something which I hold very dear to my heart and I know the support of all the members is something which is crucial to our Club.
Each member is important and I'm delighted that this week we are celebrating the tremendous contribution that our Members make to our team. I'm looking forward to the celebrations.
It's a bit week for the Parramatta Eels - I'm looking forward to seeing you all this Friday night and sharing what is going to be a very special evening of football.