The Parramatta Eels are preparing to take on the Newcastle Knights at ANZ Staidum on Friday 11 August in Round 23 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
After a victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium last week, the Eels are encouraging all Blue & Gold supporters to be at the ground this Friday night to cheer on the team.
Speaking to the media ahead of his 200th NRL clash, Blue & Gold co-captain encouraged fans to be there to cheer on the side, supporting Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur’s letter to the Eels fanbase.
“I think BA I just like us and wants to see a fair crowd turn up. The fans have been great, and with that 6pm timeslot on a Friday afternoon, it would be great to get as many fans there as we can.” Mannah said.
“The support has been great, but we just want to see as many Blue & Gold people as we can because their support means a lot to us and as we are heading into the home straight of the season, we want as much support as we can.”
“We understand it’s a 6pm game on a Friday afternoon but we are hoping that people can get out of work a bit earlier, get to the game and support us because the support really makes a difference.” He added.
Whilst the Eels have won their past six games, and will be entering the clash with plenty of confidence, Mannah says the side is purely focused on a dangerous Newcastle outfit.
“We have been playing some good footy, especially the last couple of weeks but we have another big challenge this week,” Mannah said.
I think Newcastle have been pretty unlucky this year, there has been many games that they have been right in, and the last couple of weeks they got the result that they deserved but they have been right into games up to their eyeballs the last few weeks.”
“It is going to be a big challenge for us and one that we make sure we turn up to with the right attitude.”
And with Newcastle’s position on the ladder, Mannah knows the side will be dangerous and play with a nothing to lose attitude.
“We have been in that situation in the past, when we couldn’t make the finals in the past, and you get a bit of a buzz of ruining somebodies trip to the Finals.” Mannah said.
“We have to make sure we stay focused and not really care about who we are playing or what time we are playing, just focusing on making sure we turn up and doing our job as best we can.”
“The most important thing is this weekend. If we win this weekend, we can worry about playing the next game and focus on them, but if we keep on winning, anything is possible on where we finish.”
Mannah, who tasted Finals football in his debut season, back in 2009, has not returned to Finals football since.
He says there is a buzz around the community, and also the playing squad, but the side must be focused on one week at a time, rather than looking too far into the future.
“You can feel the buzz around the community. We have the same feeling and we have the same excitement,” Mannah said.
“I said it on the weekend that we are excited about our footy at the moment, we are excited about turning up to training today, excited about game day.”
“There is a real good buzz amongst us and it’s good to see that the city is getting a bit of a buzz as well. We can feel their excitement and that’s why we want them to turn up on Friday and put a big number in the crowd and really give us a buzz.”
The Eels kick off against the Newcastle Knights on Friday 11 August at ANZ Stadium. Click here to purchase your tickets to the clash.