The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have come away with a 26-20 victory over the Penrith Panthers in the Round 12 clash at Pepper Stadium on Friday 29 May.
Daniel Alvaro was making his NRL debut, a day after celebrating his twenty-second birthday, and the 190cm, 108kg forward known as 'Polar' was overwhelmed after the game.
“It was unreal. Unbelievable,” Alvaro said of his experience.
“I just soaked up all of it and it has just been the best experience ever.”
Alvaro’s debut may of come earlier than he had expected, but after a series of injuries and unavailabilities plaguing the Blue and Gold squad, the forward got the call up earlier this week from Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur.
“We did wrestling in the morning with the boys and Brad pulled me aside and told me. I couldn’t believe it,” Alvaro said.
“I was a bit shell shocked but completely over the moon!” Alvaro recalled of being told he was going to make his NRL debut.
Arthur confirmed Alvaro deserved the opportunity after his persistence and professionalism.
“He’s a good kid, he won our ‘best trainer’ in the pre-season, which is voted for by the players, and he’s popular within the group,’’ Arthur told the Daily Telegraph.
“He’s a quiet kid, he comes and trains his best, he treats the elder players with respect, and he sets a good example for the younger boys at the club, and that if you work hard, you’ll get your chance. His chance has come a bit earlier than expected, but we do have a few injuries in our front-row.’’
And whilst it was not until the 74th minute when Alvaro entered the field of play, the forward had no complaints.
“I understood totally,” Alvaro said of when he was called upon by Head Coach Brad Arthur.
“I was happy with whatever but as long as we got the win, that was the main thing.” Alvaro added.
However when Alvaro entered the field of play, the forward sprinted to the middle of the ground eager to get his hands on the ball and was enthusiastic with his work in the middle.
“I can’t explain it, it was the best feeling ever,” Alvaro said.
“Hopefully I get to do it again.”
The Eels will take on the North Queensland Cowboys on Monday 8 June at Pirtek Stadium for their Round 13 clash.