The Dyldam Parramatta Eels are preparing to take on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles this Friday night (August 5) at Pirtek Stadium for Round 22 of the NRL Telstra Premiership and Blue and Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur expects the team to continue to put in resilient and tough performances, something they have shown all year.
Despite all the off-field distractions surrounding the Blue and Gold in 2016, Arthur said it was easy for the side to remain focused.
“We approach this week the same way we have every week. The boys love being here, love playing football and that’s what they get paid to do,” Arthur said.
“They are accountable to their teammates, the club and the fans and we have managed to front up week in, week out, and I have no hesitation in saying we are going to go out there tomorrow night and give it our best shot.”
“We can take plenty from what we have done this year into next year.”
And with the Eels unable to make the 2016 Finals, Arthur said there were brighter days ahead for the Blue and Gold Army.
“The fans can look forward to what they have seen from this team this year, that’s what they have to look forward to,” Arthur said.
“We can still add to our squad and will be more than competitive next year. We have developed a resilience, toughness and a style of footy that we want to play and I think our fans are more than happy with our performance and the way our boys have continued to front up.”
“There has been more than enough excuses and opportunities to say this is all too hard. We have showed we are not prepared to throw in the towel and I’m sure for the fans, that is enough for them at the moment.”
Looking at the Round 22 opponents, Arthur expects a tough clash.
“They are going well and have won their last three or four. They had a run of losses there for a while but to their credit, their effort was always there and that’s how you fight your way out of bad form,” Arthur said.
“To their credit, they are starting to get a few players back and a few combinations and we will have to be at our best tomorrow night to make sure we can match them.”
And with news yesterday of Jarryd Hayne signing with the Gold Coast Titans, and the media quizzing Arthur on the recent decision, the Head Coach said he was comfortable with the news.
“We are comfortable with Jarryd’s decision. He has to do what is best for him and I have a responsibility to the club and the fans long term in making sure we put ourselves in a good space and a good place with our list that we can retain everyone,” Arthur said.
“I am also accountable to this team and keeping them together. I am committed and we are committed to the blokes that are committed to us.”
“At the end of 2017, we have Manu Ma’u, Tepai Moeroa, Clinton Gutherson, Brad Takairangi, Peni Terepo off contract and they are important to me, they are important to this club and they are important to this team and there is no way we would run the risk of losing those guys,” Arthur added.
The Eels take on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Pirtek Stadium on Friday August 5. Kick off at 7:50pm. Click here for the Round 22 Game Day Info