The Parramatta Eels have arrived in #eelsterritory today (Thursday 9 February) ahead of their pre-season trial against the Gold Coast Titans, and Blue & Gold co-captain Tim Mannah says the side have been welcomed in their home away from Sydney.
Coming back to the Northern Territory, Mannah says it’s good to be back and was excited about the next few days in the community.
“It’s good to be back. This is our fourth year here and every time we come here we feel more part of the community and the support grows every year so it’s good to be back and we are looking forward to having our first hit out of the year,” Mannah said.
“Being our fourth year, the support every year grows more and more and part of that is our Club’s buy in to the community as well.”
“We don’t just come here, play a game and take off, we come here to invest time in the schools and the development of the game over here and it’s a really big reason why we have such a great connection with the people here.”
The Eels are in their fourth year of a partnership between the Blue & Gold and the NT Government, which includes an annual Eels home game played in Darwin (Round 14, Eels v North Queensland Cowboys, Saturday 10 June 2017).
However football in the NT will come this weekend, when the Eels take on the Titans and Mannah says the entire squad is excited about returning to the field.
“It’s the same story every time this time of the year, that everyone gets itchy feet and everyone is getting over the training of off-season and everyone wants to start playing footy. Its nice to finish the week with a game and we are heading into that time of the year again and everyone is really excited,” Mannah said.
The squad was named earlier today, with Head Coach Brad Arthur announcing a 21-man touring party with plenty of youth and experience.
“We have a pretty tight knit group and its really exciting to see some of the youngsters get a crack this year as well.” Mannah said.
“Brad has brought a pretty young squad as well so it’s a great opportunity for them to put their best foot forward and really show what they can do.”
“We have a lot of trust in what they can do, but it’s a great opportunity for them to show everyone else.”
Kick off on Saturday night is at 7:40pm. Gates open at 4:30pm.
Tickets are available from Sports Power, Hot Stuff for the Sporting Buff and Intersport Alice Springs. Family passes $35 and Corporate Tickets $150.
The Eels will also clash with the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium in the first ‘Battle of the West’ in 2017 for their final pre-season trial game on Saturday 18 February before hosting the much anticipated Blue & Gold Army Festival.