The Dyldam Parramatta Eels launched their 2015 campaign this morning with their Official Season Launch at the Parramatta Leagues Club, and Head Coach Brad Arthur opened up to the media about captaincy, pre-season goals and the final upcoming trial clash against the Penrith Panthers this Saturday (21 February 2015).
With the season just two weeks away, Arthur was tight lipped about who would step into the role of captain alongside Tim Mannah, if anyone at all.
“Timmy Mannah was our captain last year and he will remain our captain this year but it is just whether I decide we have somebody along side him,” Arthur said.
“We haven’t made a decision on it [the captaincy] yet, and to tell you the truth I am not 100% sure.”
Whilst the Blue and Gold features a handful of leaders, Arthur was unsure on what the captaincy structure would look like for the season ahead.
“We don’t know 100% if we need to add anyone to that list. We have plenty of blokes that lead, and both our halves are good talkers on the field and they virtually run the show so the captain really just needs to talk to the referee.”
The Eels will finish their pre-season with a trial against the Penrith Panthers this Saturday at Pepper Stadium, Penrith this weekend, and Arthur gave an insight into what the Eels have been focusing on during the past few months of intense training.
“We have trained hard in the preseason like everyone else, but our focus has been around the physical aspect of being a little bit bigger and stronger and trying to be more physical with our contact,” Arthur said.
The weekend will also see new recruit Anthony Watmough in the Blue and Gold for the first time, and Arthur was looking forward to seeing the experienced footballer’s impact on the field.
“Our Parramatta players, over the last 12 months, have always been very good trainers so it is not so much what he (Anthony Watmough) brings to training. He has added a bit of mental toughness to us, but I think we will see most of the rewards from Choc on the field” said Arthur.
“We all know what his strengths are, and how he plays, and he puts his body on the line especially when times are tough especially when we needed it last year” he added.
“When times are tough this year, he will be somebody we will look to stand up.”
With Watmough eager to return to the action, Arthur is likely to introduce him with 40 minutes of game time this weekend.
“Choc has done plenty of pre-seasons and he hasn’t had a lot of rest. This is his first season in a long time that he has done every training session, and it is just a matter of Choc making a couple of runs, making a couple of tackles and we will probably only give him 40 mins this week,” said Arthur.
Whilst the Round One clash against Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles is fast approaching, Arthur is focused on the Eels final trial.
“Our fans deserve us to go out there and be competitive but we cant really take our eyes off this weekend, I know it’s only a trial match, but still there a few things we need to get right for Round One.”