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This week, Mary Kaye looks ahead to the Round 12 clash against the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium. You can catch up on Mary Kaye's blogs at Ladies who League here

I am a big fan of honesty in my blogs and it simply needs to be said, I have found the last week extremely challenging.

As you all know, the Parramatta Eels are one of my greatest loves in life. I have been a very proud supporter of the club since 1998 and have been with them through some tremendous highs and some award winning lows. Through the good times and the bad times I have been there always faithful and loyal in my support and this loyalty sometimes comes under fire and extreme criticism.

Following the news last week that our club had been issued an almost $500,000 fine by the NRL for salary cap breaches and then following another loss, this time against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night, I found myself feeling a little blue. It has been a tough week and to cap it off with a loss was not ideal, especially when we held onto the lead for such a big proportion of the game.

As I made my way home on Friday night (soggy, wet and cold), I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and then I realised something that I already knew. I realised that in times of difficulty and great adversity, that that is the time that our football club needs us the most.

The Club is going through a difficult time at the moment. Our management is working with the NRL and is committed to good governance and compliance going forward. I am confident that we, as a Club, will not face such issues with the salary cap again. On the field, I know that our coaching staff, trainers and our boys are working extremely hard at training. I am confident that our boys are doing everything they can to turn it around on the field.

So what do they need from us? They need us to be there.

The Club needs to know that its fans are behind it while it works on and off the field to be the envy of all the other NRL Clubs and sporting bodies in Australia. The Eels are a beloved Club with a rich history, tremendous fan base and very talented players. Our management and leadership team have vision and I am confident that in the next couple of years we will start to see change. But we need to be there - even now when it is hard.

Being there starts in the next couple of weeks. This weekend we do not have a home game and face a tough challenge against the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium. I am hopeful we can rise to the occasion.

If you can't make it to the game, be there for the Club any way you can. Wear your scarf to work on Friday, post on Facebook, share this story, tweet, tweet and tweet. Show your support for the Blue and Gold that we love so much and be there for the remainder of the ride which is the 2015 season.

Because isn't that what being a footy fan is all about? Being there.

#GoParra and of course, #uptheblues


Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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