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Door opens for Doorey's Eels debut

Six years on from winning an SG Ball Grand Final with the club, Matt Doorey is finally set to make his Parramatta Eels debut on Thursday.

The 22-year old has been named in the Eels team to face Melbourne in the NRL-season opener at CommBank Stadium, forming a new-look back row with Bryce Cartwright and J’maine Hopgood.

Doorey made a great impression in the Eels' trial match win over the Knights, scoring a try and making 18 tackles on the Central Coast.

Doorey scores a doozy

Speaking to the media ahead of the match, Eels coach Brad Arthur singled out Doorey for praise.

“The bit I like about it is he’s a Parramatta junior,” Arthur said.

“He’s had a few injuries, but he’s had a really good pre-season for us where he has come in from day one and gotten through most of the sessions.

“He hasn’t done a lot of work in the NRL as an 80-minute player but that’s going to be our requirement and expectation of him at some stage.

“He’s a good, tough player; no frills. He’ll run a good, hard line for us so he will be playing alongside Mitch (Moses).”

Doorey returns to the Blue & Gold after three seasons with the Bulldogs. He has made 18 first-grade appearances to date and scored three tries, including a memorable one in his NRL debut in 2020.

A knee injury disrupted his time at Belmore, but the stars aligned for him to sign with Parramatta and reunite with former SG Ball teammates and Eels juniors Dylan Brown and Haze Dunster.

Matt Doorey and Dylan Brown celebrate in the 2017 SG Ball Cup Grand Final.
Matt Doorey and Dylan Brown celebrate in the 2017 SG Ball Cup Grand Final.

With Shaun Lane and Ryan Matterson unavailable for Round 1, Doorey comes straight in to face the Storm. He is one of six new recruits making their club debut alongside Josh Hodgson, J’maine Hopgood, Jirah Momoisea, Jack Murchie and Isaac Lumelume.

While naturally disappointed to be undermanned for a season-opener, Brad Arthur shared his excitement to introduce some fresh faces to the team.

“It’s exciting because it gives somebody else an opportunity,” he said.

“Someone hopefully steps up that we might not have known about, especially in the back row.

Doorey celebrates a trial match try.
Doorey celebrates a trial match try.

“Matt Doorey will get an opportunity… Jirah (Momoisea) will get a chance in the back row at some stage, and Murch (Jack Murchie) will come off the bench for us too and play a bit of middle or on an edge.”

“I don’t know what our best combinations are at the moment but the first couple of weeks will sort that out.”

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