Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward David Gower is looking forward to the Blue and Gold’s season opener this Friday night at Pirtek Stadium and the skilful ex Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles back rower is not focused on his former side.

Gower was named in the Eels 19-man squad for the clash, and like the rest of his fellow Blue and Gold teammates, he is itching to get back into the thick of the action.

“I think the preseason is long for everyone and regardless of who we were playing, we are all looking forward to playing,” Gower said of the Eels Round One game.

“We, like everyone, has trained hard all summer and we are just itching to get out there and put the boots on in front of our home crowd at Pirtek Stadium and play well” Gower said.

Whilst there has been plenty of hype and build-up around the clash, and the heated and fiery rivalry that has been seen in the past, Gower is not being influenced by the external noise of the potential ‘grudge match’.

“It’s round one. It doesn’t matter who it is against and it doesn’t matter that there are ex-players here or anything like that,” Gower said.

“We just have to focus on ourselves and our own game and everything we have done during the summer and put that into our own 80 min performance out there on Friday night” he added.

“As far as we are concerned, we are just going to go out there and play our own game and focus on what we can control, which is our game and the we play and that’s what we have to focus on.”

Click here to see the team named for Round One

Gower has spoken openly about the disappointment of missing the 2014 Final series, and the game on Friday will be a good challenge for the Blue and Gold squad who will be out to prove plenty of critics wrong.

“They are a great side that has been together for a long time and it’s no surprise they have made the finals the last 10 years. Its going to be a tough test.” Gower said.

“We are expecting a big tough physical challenge from them, that’s for sure” he added.

Manly forward Willie Mason attempted to add fuel to the fire earlier this week claiming that the Sea Eagles would not be ‘intimated by a beast of a Parramatta forward pack’, however Gower knows that the Eels forwards will be focused on their own game.

“We have some big boys but we are just going to focus on our game and everyone has to do their own job, and play for each other,” Gower said.

“We have to work the way that Brad has our structures and make sure that we look after our own backyard before we worry about any of that other stuff.”

Related Stories: Corey Norman raring to go / Beau Champion ready for his return

Ticket sales have been strong for this game, so we encourage all General Admission Eels Members, and all GA ticket holders to arrive early to ensure entry. Pirtek Stadium is subject to capacity restrictions and Members and fans may be unable to enter once the ground reaches its legal capacity.

There are still reserved seat tickets available via Ticketmaster, and General Admission Members can choose to upgrade to a reserved seat for the game from just $10.

For Members who have not yet received their Membership card, there will be Membership Services team Members located at Gates A/B and G/H from 4.15pm to help you on the night.