Dyldam Parramatta Eels half Luke Kelly is excited about the upcoming pre-season trial against the Gold Coast Titans at ANZAC Oval in Alice Springs on Saturday, February 13.

Kelly, who was born in Katherine, Northern Territory is looking forward to the Blue and Gold returning to #eelsterritory for the third year in a row, hopeful to put on a good show in front of the Northern Territory locals.

After the upcoming 2016 NRL Dick Smith Auckland Nines campaign, Kelly said there will be plenty of competition for selection in their first trial game of 2016 against the Gold Coast Titans.

“There’s a lot of players in our squad and there’s a lot of competition for spots so every time you play you want to put your best foot forward,” Kelly told The Sun radio station in Alice Springs.

“Everyone will be trying to play their best and push for selection in the team come the start of the season.”

“We’ve got quite a few players that play in the halves, and with the addition of Kieran to our club he’s a world class player and he’s definitely going to bring so much to our team. It’s all positive.”

With the trial game against the Titans the first opportunity for Blue and Gold fans to see the team in action since returning from the Nines, Kelly was hoping the side would be able to put on a good show against their opposition.

“It’s going to be tough, they’ve got a lot of big fellas so it should be interesting,” Kelly said of the Gold Coast Titans.

“It’s always tough to judge how you’ll go your first hit out of the year so I’m sure both teams will be a bit rusty in patches but hopefully we can put on a good show for the crowd. It’ll be a great night for families and kids to come down.”

Click here to see the Eels pre-season schedule


For Kelly, representing the Blue and Gold in #eelsterritory in front of a lot of his family and friends is something he is looking forward to.

“This is our third year in a row [coming to Alice Springs] and it’s always exciting to start playing footy again, and to do it in the Territory is even better.”

“The last couple of years I’ve had a lot of friends and family drive down so I’d say things won’t be any different this time. My mum and dad will definitely be there and probably few aunties and uncles and cousins come down as well.” he added.

“As a Territorian, I love getting back to the Territory and from the team’s perspective we love getting up there. As we’ve done the last couple of years, we’ll be having some school visits and open training sessions before the actual game so we’re all excited and can’t wait to get up there,” Kelly said reflecting on the past visits to #eelsterritory.

“I played a little bit of school footy and representative footy for gathering against Alice Springs and Darwin [at ANZAC Oval] so I’ve played there quite a few times now.”

“Ever since the Stadium’s been put in, and the changerooms and all the facilities are first class, so I think they’ve done a great job there.” he added.

Hear the full interview with Luke Kelly here.