Dyldam Parramatta Eels Club Captain Tim Mannah has lent his support to his teammates as the Blue and Gold look to maintain their focus on the football field ahead of their Round 12 clash with the Newcastle Knights.
With five-eighth Corey Norman issued with a charge notice from NSW Police, and halfback Kieran Foran dogged by media attention while he undergoes treatment for personal issues, Mannah said his first priority was to his role as a teammate and good mate.
“[In Corey’s case] it’s a legal matter now and it’s not really for us to comment on,” Mannah said.
“Our job is more to support Corey, and help get him through this time. He’s a real close mate of ours and he’s a really important part of our team and this club.”
“[Kieran]’s doing well, but he’s an example of one of the guys who’s getting a bit of attention, some of the stories [about him] I don’t think need to be drawn out.”
“He’s had a few things thrown at him, but it would be nice if some of his personal life could remain private.”
Mannah admitted that media attention was all part and parcel of playing at Parramatta, including the negative stories of the past week.
“You kind of get used to it I think, at this place,” Mannah said.
“Theres always stuff keeping us busy off the field. We’ve definitely had the spotlight on us and I feel like a lot of things are getting attention at this place, whether it was right or wrong it was getting attention.”
“It does sidetrack you a bit. But some things you can’t really help, you’ve just got to learn to do what you can do, control what you can control.”
“Brad [Arthur] and his staff have done a really good job in terms of keeping the boys focused on our job at hand and for us, that’s footy. [We] have responded to a lot of adversity this year and it makes me proud to be associated with this group of people here.”
The Blue and Gold held their team meeting before a fieldwork session in North Parramatta on Thursday morning, but Mannah was tight-lipped about the content of the conversation.
“What was said over there, it’s best that it stays over there,” Mannah said.
“Brad's leadership over these last few weeks has been outstanding, and I think but he’s made it clear that he wants us to make sure we focus on our footy and play well.”
“We’re pretty keen to get out there and train today, and it’s kind of our safe place, on the field. That’s where we just do what we’re paid to do.”