As we begin our 2016 pre-season this week, I won’t dwell overly on our 2015 season, but it’s fair to say our win/loss record was not what we had targeted last season. However, there were many positives gained through 2015 that will help the Eels’ push for the finals in 2016.
That finals push begins this week, with twelve new faces joining our senior squad at our first ever one-stop training facility at Old Saleyards Reserve in North Parramatta. The facility has a fully equipped gym, physiotherapy and rehab rooms, a video room and players’ lounge. The training fields are two of the best in Australian sport, with surfaces rivalling any stadium, alongside a 105-metre four-lane synthetic sprint track.
The new faces in your club’s playing roster include:
Kieran Foran, Cameron King, Rory O'Brien, Beau Scott, James Hasson, Michael Gordon, Matt Woods, Mitch Cornish, Clinton Gutherson, Scott Schulte and Kieran Moss, and Kelepi Tanginoa returning to the club.
In other news, the club has commenced the internal governance review that was a requirement from the 2014 salary cap breach.
Auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has been appointed as the company conducting the review. We are expecting it to be complete and any recommended changes in place by 30 January 2016. Members, rest assured that the Eels will NOT commence the 2016 season on negative points.
The process is underway to fill the vacant Parramatta Eels CEO position and I ask Members for their patience during this time.
I have been associated with this great club since 1978, and I'm starting to feel and see all the attributes at this club that produce a winning formula. My expectations for 2016 are high. I believe our club will take significant steps forward in 2016, but the NRL team cannot do it alone.
We need our Members - the Blue and Gold Army - and all our true fans to help us achieve the ultimate goal.
2016 will also mark the end of an era at Pirtek Stadium as we know it. After thirty years, including 1986 when the club won its fourth premiership, season 2016 will be our last season playing at the current stadium, before a new $300 million stadium begins construction in late 2016.
We had a full house in attendance to celebrate the Stadium opening in 1986, and the team celebrated a victory that day before going on to win our fourth premiership. Make sure you're at our first home game in 2016 to help recreate what happened thirty years ago, and maybe history will repeat itself.
Stay strong, stay united, stay Blue and Gold.