The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have launched their 2015 campaign this morning with Head Coach Brad Arthur and all Eels squad members in attendance at the Official 2015 Season Launch at the Parramatta Leagues Club.
Hosted by Eels legend Peter Sterling and Channel 9 presenter Yvonne Sampson, the Blue and Gold mingled with the club's commercial and charity partners, enjoyed an informal breakfast and gave the guests in attendance an insider's look at the Eels pre-season preparations.
Eels Chairman Steve Sharp welcomed the 190 guests to the event, before paying tribute to the coaching staff and extending a few words the club's newest recruits ahead of their first season in Blue and Gold.
"Thank you to Brad [Arthur] and his staff for all their commitment to exellence in preparing the Eels team for this year," Sharp said.
"And to our new players, I know you will wear the colours with pride and passion as many great champions of the game have done before you."
The Blue and Gold have been put through their paces during their pre-season that began with a pre-season training camp in Seattle, USA back in November 2014, and the squad is champing at the bit to return to the field.
“We spent the summer really working hard as a team,” said Eels forward Tim Mannah.
“I think the coaches have done a great job preparing this squad for what’s coming up and we know we are ready and we can’t wait to get out there” he added.
Hooker Nathan Peats, who’s 2014 campaign was cut short due to a anterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee in May 2014, was just as eager to get back into the action.
“It has been along couple of months, the boys are itching to go and when it gets close to trials, training steps up and it starts getting a bit vicious and people clashing a bit which is good as it means you have healthy competition so I think the boys are ready to go including myself,” said Peats.
New Eels forward Anthony Watmough is looking forward to the season ahead that will be headed with a clash against his former side in Round One at Pirtek Stadium.
“I love the battle and I just want to get out there and get into it,” said Watmough.
“Everybody is getting a bit antsy and everyone can’t wait to play a game of footy and I cant wait to play Manly Round 1. It’s going to be a big occasion for myself and for the boys so but we are ready to go.”
The Eels, who returned from the Alice Springs after their opening trial game, will feature in their final pre-season trial against the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium, Penrith on Saturday 21 February 2015.
The game against the Panthers will be the final hit-out for the Blue and Gold before their 2015 Telstra Premiership campaign gets underway with their Round One clash against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Pirtek Stadium on Friday 6 March 2015.
CEO Scott Seward said that Round One will a fantastic start to another year of improvement for the Eels.
"I think anyone at our Sea Eagles game last year [in Round 24] would have seen that, undoubtedly, we need a bigger stadium, but also that we have a great stadium which gives us a great home advantage."
"The number one thing is we’re looking to improve every year. We want to be a club that plays in the finals every year; our Members, our fans, and our community deserve that."
For more information on tickets for the 2015 season, or to purchase any tickets for any Eels home game at Pirtek Stadium from Round 1 through to Round 19, click here. For all Eels home games in 2015, tickets are offered at a discounted rate when you pre-purchase.