Dear Eels Members, Partners and Fans
With the season for all our squads fast approaching, we wanted to provide an update on key news and developments at our Club.
Eels Football Program 2022
In 2022, the Club has added a number of key personnel to its football programs which will see it have one of the largest elite high-performance programs in Australian sport.
These additions include:-
|Michael Ennis||NRL & Elite Pathways Football Consultant|
|Paul McGregor||NRL Football Consultant|
|Simon Woolford||Elite Pathways and Jersey Flegg Coach|
|Andy Patmore||Head of Eels NRLW and Women Pathways|
|Dean Widders||Eels NRLW Head Coach|
|Kate Mullaly||Eels NRLW Assistant Coach|
|Darren Borthwick||Eels NRLW Assistant Coach|
|Christine Gwynne||Education and Welfare NRLW and Junior Pathways|
|Jordan Rankin||Elite Pathways Coach (alongside his NSW Cup duties)|
These additions alongside our current football, education, welfare, recruitment and football operations will help the Club deliver our elite pathway programs under 14, 15, 16 boys and girls right through to our NRL and NRLW teams
While many of our players and staff have been impacted by COVID over the past few months, our NRL squad has managed the COVID impacts well and we have a full squad available at training heading into February. New recruits Bailey Simonsson and Mitch Rein have integrated with the squad well and the training intensity has increased steadily as we move towards our first trial against St George Illawarra on Sunday the 20th of February at CommBank Stadium.
Maika Sivo continues to make good progress as he continues his injury rehabilitation from an ACL injury with Reed Mahoney recovering from shoulder surgery and gradually returning to training with the main group. We currently have a Top squad of 28 players contracted for the 2022 season, with another two players to be added in the coming weeks and months.
Our inaugural NRLW squad has commenced their preseason under Head Coach Dean Widders and the support of assistant coaches Kate Mullaly and Darren Borthwick. Everyone at the Club has been impressed by the commitment and standard of our NRLW players and we are incredibly excited by the impact they are having on our organisation as a whole.
The team have been splitting their training between the NSW Rugby League Centre of Excellence and Westfield Sports High in the initial weeks of the preseason as we work through the impact of the COVID protocols and accommodate the commitments of our staff and players.
We are less than four weeks away from our inaugural NRLW match in Newcastle on Sunday the 27th of February and the players are competing for selection in the very first PNRLW team
Our Jersey Flegg squad started preseason training in November and have their first trial game against the St George Illawarra on Sunday the 20thof February. Coach, Simon Woolford and his staff have been focusing on the players’ fitness and ensuring they have foundations ready for a 24 game regular season. The team open the competition on Saturday the 12th of March also against St George Illawarra and will be bolstered by a number of players returning to the Flegg program after completing an NRL pre-season. Having NRL exposure may prove crucial for our depth for any Covid impacts in season 2022
Junior Reps Program
Our SG Ball (U19’s Male), Tarsha Gale (U19’s Female) and Harold Mathews (U17’s Male) team have completed their preseason trials with squads now finalised. The first round of the Junior Representative competitions sees the Eels take on the Roosters on Saturday the 5th of February. For the first time in three years, our Harold Mathews squad will be entirely made up of players from the Parramatta Junior League.
The Club has been able to secure a number of new and exciting partners for our inaugural NRLW season as well as having a number of our key NRL men’s partners join us in supporting our new women’s program. We look forward to making some exciting announcements and welcoming these partners to the Club in the coming weeks.
Full season and casual hospitality packages are now on sale for 2022 so now is the perfect time to visit www.parraels.com.au/hospitality to secure your seats at CommBank Stadium for the upcoming season.
We continue to be number one for Membership across all NRL clubs with almost 30,000 members already committed in 2022. To those yet to commit we are giving fans the chance to build their own custom 1-11 game packages in 2022 as well as a variety of other options so be sure to visit https://membership.parraeels.com.au/
February will see the completion of two new fields that have been constructed as part of the Kellyville Park masterplan by Hills Councill. This means that our facility now has 5 full size NRL fields for use by the Club and its community partners including upgraded lighting and irrigation just in time for the 2022 Rugby League season. The Club is still aiming to receive final planning approvals by mid-2022 with the aim of commencing construction of the Community Centre and match venue in the second half of 2022.