The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have returned to Sydney after a successful preseason training camp in USA and Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur caught up with Big Sports Breakfast hosts Terry Kennedy and Michael Slater this morning (17 November 2014) to review the trip.
With some new faces in the squad for the upcoming 2015 season, the Blue and Gold used the training camp as an opportunity to bond and set some team standards for the season ahead whilst Arthur brought back vital learnings from the trip.
“It was a really good way to start our preparation into our preseason. We have had a bit of turnover of players and there’s nothing better for them to live with each other 24/7 and come together that way,” Arthur said.
“We have a new strength and conditioning coach, Paul Devlin, who started to work closely with their diets and really give them an insight to how their training program is going to work and the standards we want to set.”
“Seeing their facilities, obviously money plays a big part in their facilities over there, but we picked up a lot of little bits and pieces that we can implement at our club which aren’t a cost issue,” Arthur said.
Arthur has the team focused for the upcoming season and knows that with the departure of Jarryd Hayne, there is a real opportunity for the younger players of the squad to step up and fill a void left by the former fullback.
“No disrespect to Jarryd because we know how much of a wonderful player he is and how much of an influence he had at Parramatta, but he just wanted to say goodbye to the boys,” Arthur said when asked of Hayne’s surprise meeting in Seattle.
“I’ll say this with all honesty, but the boys have moved on past it and they see it as an opportunity.“
“They are only focusing on the positives out of it and that it has given a few of them the opportunity to stand up and really have their say and put their stamp on this team.”
However, with the departure of Hayne, the Eels have space in the salary cap and Arthur did not rule out the chance of signing new players to the Blue and Gold.
“We have got some room in our salary cap but it’s not something that we want to rush into. We don’t just want to go out and buy the first quality player that’s available.”
“They need to fit into what we are looking for and what we are trying to build so we are just going to wait, let the dust settle, and if someone comes along that we think will suit our style of football and what we need moving forward, either a long term solution or a short term fix, we will invest that way.”