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Letter to Members & fans - Recruitment and Retention update

Dear Members and fans,

Firstly, I want to say congratulations and thank you to each and every one of our members. To have reached 20,000 Members in December for the first time in our history is an outstanding effort and something that our entire Club is very proud of.

This confirms to us the belief our supporters have in the direction we are heading in, and it is important that as members you know how much your support means to us and we genuinely thank you for your commitment to our Club. 

Over the last three years we have made so much progress together, but we have a long way to go. We are well aware that this is only the beginning in the transformation of our Club and we must remain focused and vigilant to ensure we achieve our strategic objective of sustained success and regular finals football.

Our roster management committee headed by our General Manager of Football, Mark O’Neill and Head of Recruitment and Retention, Peter Sharp, has assembled an NRL squad which we genuinely believe places us in a position to deliver that sustained success.

We have recruited two international representative players in Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Waqa Blake, as well as Ryan Matterson, who returns home to his junior club and was on the fringe of NSW Origin selection in 2019.

We have extended the contracts of some of our top performers in 2019 including Marata Niukore, Michael Jennings and last season’s NRL top try scorer and our crowd favourite Maika Sivo,

This week we re-signed two of our junior elite pathways players, Dylan Brown and Oregon Kaufusi who will both be with the Eels for at least another three seasons which is a terrific outcome for Dylan, Oregon and the Club.

The performance by the team in 2019 also led to a number of our players having representative honours this season; our captain Clint Gutherson, Dally M halfback of the year Mitchell Moses, Blake Ferguson, Nathan Brown, Reed Mahoney, Junior Paulo, Michael Jennings, Peni Terepo, Brad Takairangi and Kane Evans all excelled for their state or country in 2019.

We have a strong team that we can be proud of and optimistic about.

While we have received overwhelming support from our Members and fans for the players we have retained and recruited, there has also been a lot of outside noise surrounding our Club in recent weeks.

We make no apologies for having a disciplined approach towards managing our roster.  Strong and spirited negotiations are a part of the game, and the outside commentary on those negotiations has no impact on our decision making.

While we will fight to retain as many of our local juniors as possible, we also understand we cannot keep every player who comes through our elite junior pathways.  As a Club, we are committed to continuously improving, and our approach to recruitment is no different.

Finally, on behalf of the Board, our Coach, the staff and the players, I would like to personally thank you for your continued support and loyalty to our Club. Your unwavering commitment and passion to the Blue and Gold is what makes this Club great, and we can’t wait to see you all at a packed Bankwest Stadium again in 2020.

Our best days are ahead of us.

Kind Regards,
Jim Sarantinos
Member No. 1478933