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Eels CEO update

Dear Members,

I want to provide an update to you following our players and football staff returning to Kellyville Park today for the first time since the Telstra Premiership was suspended.

Firstly, I want to thank our Members, fans and Corporate Partners, who are the lifeblood of not only our Club but also our game. Thank you for the loyalty, support and patience you have all shown during this period.

The feedback and support our Club and its staff have received during this time has been humbling, and the continued backing from our Members and Partners will see us emerge from the COVID-19 crisis in a good position.

On behalf of our Club, we want to thank ARLC Chairman Peter V’Landys and NRL interim CEO Andrew Abdo for their tireless efforts in working through the many hurdles and obstacles to get the competition back underway.

Their drive to resume the competition in the safest way possible should be applauded and the Clubs are united in supporting Peter and the NRL management team as we head towards the game recommencing on 28 May.

Today, our players and football staff returned to our facility at Kellyville Park to receive a briefing on the strict biosecurity protocols designed to keep themselves and the community safe and healthy during this period.

I am pleased to say that all of our players will resume full training this Wednesday using the guidelines approved by National Cabinet last Friday.

The milestones achieved over the last few days are significant however, we have stressed to our playing group and staff today the importance of representing our Club and our Members by following these protocols closely over the coming weeks.

Rugby League has the opportunity to show the community its resilience and drive by being one of the first sports in the world to resume in the safest environment possible. As one of the leading Clubs in the NRL, we will be ready on and off the field to maximise the potential opportunities from May 28.

We are currently waiting on a revised draw from the NRL’s Project Apollo team and we hope to be able to update you on this later in the week. While we understand there will be no crowds in the short term, there is a possibility that if we continue to make the progress we have been as a society, we could start seeing crowds in some shape or form towards the back end of the season.

When this unprecedented situation first confronted us, I stated that we will all work together to rise above the challenges we are facing as a Club, a Game and a Community. We still have some challenges to work through but I am proud of the way our Club, our staff and our players have approached this period and I look forward to us returning to the field ready to play and perform at our best.

Stay safe, and thank you again for your support.

Go the Eels,

Jim Sarantinos

Member number 1478933