Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has sat down to look back on the 2014 season for the Blue and Gold, from the gutsiest performances to the disappointment of missing the top eight.
The rookie Head Coach says that while his first year in the role has opened his eyes to the power of having the Blue and Gold Army behind the side, and seen debutants gain valuable first-grade experience, he leaves the year with the belief that close enough simply isn't good enough.
“There have been plenty of highlights,” Arthur said.
“If you talk about games, we matched it with Manly … and we played a really strong game against the Bulldogs when we were down a few Origin players and our backs were against the wall.”
“We’ve showed that when we’re mentally switched on and ready to play and ready to get physical, that we can match it with those good sides.”
“When we first got here, we were very – and we still are - young and inexperienced, but I’ve seen a lot of blokes mature in their leadership and I’ve seen a lot of the young boys gain valuable experience that they probably mightn’t have gained this early in their careers.”
“At the end of the day we had an opportunity to push for a semi-finals spot and we just fell a little bit short the last two games. We’ve decided now that close enough’s not good enough any more here.”
“Where we need to improve and what we need to do better, and it’s simple for us, is we need more of a physical presence. And our pre-season for 2015 there’s going to be a massive emphasis on us getting more physically dominant in terms of our strength and power.”