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Eels halfback Mitchell Moses.

Mitchell Moses scored a hat-trick for Australia in the World Cup Nines final, was selected in the Prime Minister's XIII and won the Dally M for halfback of the year in a stellar 2019.

But none of those achievements sits atop Moses' personal highlights from the last 12 months.

"Just being back and playing finals footy," Moses said of the Eels ride to the second week of the finals – even though it was abruptly stopped with a  Storm 32-0 win at AAMI Park.

"I had a taste of it in 2017 and being back in that position again at the end of the year was magic."

The Eels finished fifth last year with 14 wins. It was a vast turnaround from the previous year of landing at the very bottom – 16th – with just six wins.

"I learned a lot of lessons from that year and I think I also learned a lot from last season when we made it back into the eight," Moses said.

Soward's Say: 2020 Eels

"I take a bit more confidence out of how we finished in 2019 but I'm still not happy."

Being kept scoreless by Melbourne in the second week of the finals will live long in the Moses memory banks.

Losing his personal protector Manu Ma'u to Super League club Hull FC is another sore point.

"I'm really excited that we've signed Ryan Matterson and Reagan Campbell-Gillard. They are crucial for us," he said.

I take a bit more confidence out of how we finished in 2019 but I'm still not happy

Eels halfback Mitchell Moses

"No Manu on my edge means we needed to strengthen the forward pack. He was my bodyguard last year – he always made me feel very safe.

"But the stuff I've been doing with 'Matto'  in the off-season. I'm very excited for what we can do as an edge.

"He's also brought a lot of leadership to our team, which is where Reagan has been outstanding as well. He's a great bloke and fitted in so well. He's also brought that bigger size to our pack."

Moses' wish for 2020 is to stop the ups and downs in results and attitude.

"We'd have a big win one week and then the next we wouldn't turn up. So I want that consistency in our game, in our footy.

"I feel like it's already there but we need to keep finding it and putting it out there each week. That's what we've been working on in the pre-season."

A strong-on-paper Eels team with a representative back five and tall, mobile forwards – steered around by Moses and five-eighth Dylan Brown - has convinced many punters Parramatta is a genuine premiership chance.

Matterson in Eels leadership group

But pressure has never sat easily with the Eels with a case in point is finishing in the top-four in 2017 and then picking up the wooden spoon in 2018.

Or being on fire in the 58-0 win over the Broncos in the 2019 qualifying finals and then failing to score a point a week later against the Storm.

Moses says his team is growing in that regard.

"We're going to have to handle pressure better. If we want to play in the big games you've got to be able to handle the expectation," he said.

"If we start the year well we put ourselves in a good position to do those types of things – playing in the finals again, earning respect.

"That's our goal for this year."

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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