Dyldam Parramatta Eels Chris Sandow knows that 2015 is a big year for the Blue and Gold.
The talented halfback, whom by his own admission has not played as well as he has in the past, believes the years ahead, not just for himself, but for the Parramatta Eels look bright.
Sandow has had a gruelling few weeks of pre-season training but is confident about the Blue and Gold season, life without Jarryd Hayne, his next contract and playing under Head Coach Brad Arthur.
“Seattle was an eye-opener when we went to interact with the kids and put a smile on their faces. It was positive.” Sandow told NRL.com
“We came back like we'd known each other for a long time now. That's really good. That goes to show where we're going as a club. I'm really positive about what we're trying to build here at Parramatta.”
Sandow is confident that despite the departure of Hayne, the Eels can take positives out of the situation.
“It's going to be tough, you know, because there's not another Jarryd Hayne in the club. But we've got different guys that bring different things to the team.” Sandow said.
"We've got blokes that can bring something different than what Jarryd did, and that goes to BA (coach Brad Arthur), the club and the coaching staff who are getting other blokes here to Parramatta and building a good culture."
Sandow has made a conscious decision to step up in Hayne’s absence.
“I sat down and thought about it when I was at home after I got that text [from him]. I was back in Queensland at the time. Normally I love a drink each weekend, but I've narrowed stuff down, what I do on the weekends, to keep on top of my fitness and on top of my body weight. I've been going really well and I'm excited about myself to take that next step next year."
Sandow has loved playing under Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur and is confident that he can bring out the best in himself in 2015.
“I love playing under Brad, he reminds me so much of John Lang.” Sandow said.
“He's straight down the line with you and what he wants from you. He makes the boys play to my style of footy, or what our strengths are on the field. That's smart of a coach to think or build a game plan around certain people.”
“I'll play for Brad anywhere, if he goes somewhere else, I'd follow him.”
With Sandow on the last year of his contract at the Blue and Gold, he still remembers what it was like three years ago, coming off a contract for Souths and having a big year.
“The type of training we're doing here at Parra is similar. We've got a lot of skilful blokes at Parra like we did at Souths at the time. We're all young faces here too, and want to make a name for ourselves and stamp our authority in the NRL. And that's really positive for the club. We have the best group we've had in a while and I'm excited about playing behind some of these players.” Sandow said.
“We're building, I like what I see here at Parramatta with all the guys coming through. I just want to be a part of it because I know Parramatta's going somewhere and I want to be a part of that.”
The halfback is determined to make his mark and have his best year at Parramatta.
“I always play to win. I'm a sore loser. I hate losing. All the boys know that,” Sandow said.
“If I do leave and go to another club and the boys do go good, it'll shatter me. That's why I've been training my arse off.”
“I'm just a competitor. I want to win all the time.”
“I'm excited. I feel like a kid again. I think the footy world is going to see the real Chris Sandow next year and I'm excited about that.”