The Dyldam Parramatta Eels District Representative sides were in action on their weekend, with the Blue and Gold taking part in the second trial of the pre-season against SWAS and the Penrith Panthers at Patrician Brothers Blacktown.
In tough conditions for the young footballers, the Blue and Gold were put to the test.
“We were very happy with both squads in what was trying conditions that were difficult and heavy going in the wet,” Coordinator Recruitment - Elite Programs Anthony Field said.
“It presented an opportunity to see where the kids are at physically, with their endurance in testing conditions and a few kids really put their hand up and came to the forefront. We learnt a lot from the trials.”
Whilst the result was not the main focus of the day, the Harold Matthews (4 tries to 4), SG Ball (8 tries to 2) and Senior Talent Squads (0 tries to 2) performed well with Field happy with each side’s performance.
“In the Harold Matthews, we played a Blue and Gold squad that was evenly split whereas Penrith elected to throw their best squad at as first. We went down in that trial 4-2, although I was very happy with their performance.” Field said.
“We were convincing winners in the second trial with our Gold squad. Even though it was 2-0, it didn’t really reflect on the scoreboard how much we dominated,” he added.
“The SG Ball trial was convincing on the scoreboard, and over the two games we were up 8 tries to 2, with Penrith scoring both their tries late in the piece. But I was really impressed with their defensive effort which they have been putting a lot of work into over the offseason.”
After the trials, Field confirmed cuts to the squad had been made, however the unsuccessful players were still being monitored and developed in the Blue and Gold system.
“Final cuts were completed yesterday after reviewing the trials and watching the vision again. It was a difficult job but all the kids will still remain in the system even after the cuts, with our succession plan and development pathway identified in accordance to where we see best for the individual athlete.” Field said.
“For the rest of the squad, they will be back into training now three days a week, culminating with a trial on Saturday against the Bulldogs at Neptune Park, Revesby Park.”
Unfortunately the Under 14’s and Under 15’s Talent Squad trials were unable to take the field in the conditions, yet despite this, Field saw the day as an overall success, both on and off the field.
“The U14/15s Development Game has been postponed to a later date, and the little fellas were shattered,” Field said.
“Overall, the day was excellent. It was very well attended, not just from parents, but people interested in the development and the pathway systems we have in place,” he added.
“Whilst it was a good trial for the teams in testing conditions, it was also a good blow out for all the staff, the medical, game day and coaching staff provide a sense of pride in the Eels brand when showcasing their level of professionalism.”
The District Representative sides will have their final trial of the season against the Bulldogs this week, before the competition gets underway on the 13th February 2016.