Record: 13 wins, 11 losses
Ladder Position: 14th* (twelve points deducted for salary cap breach)
Player of the Year: Manu Ma’u
Parramatta haven’t had a more dramatic season in their sixty-nine year history as off-field dramas took the shine off their on field improvement where the club recorded thirteen wins, their best effort since 2007.
How Brad Arthur continued to keep the team focused during 2016 with chaos all around him speaks volumes for him as a person and most importantly a coach.
The fall of Kieran Foran
Kieran Foran’s move to Parramatta excited fans as the club looked to end their premiership drought.
But it was off-field where the twenty-six year old struggled the most with a breakup from his ex-partner, leading to taking a break away from the game to treat depression.
Links to colourful gambling identity Eddie Haysen saw Foran back in the spotlight during the NRL Finals series.
Hopefully a move to Auckland will help Foran get his career and personal life back on track.
He wasn’t the only one to struggle off-field with Semi Radradra and Corey Norman too having their own personal problems which saw them sidelined at different parts of the season.
Gang of five
In May this year the National Rugby League confirmed the Eels since at least 2013 had been operating a system designed to enable it to exceed the salary cap without detection and give it’s team an unfair advantage.
The recommendation was that Steve Sharp, Tom Issa, Peter Serrao, John Boulous and Daniel Anderson should have their registrations cancelled.
In July and after a failed court attempt, the Gang of Five were dismissed by the NSW Government.
This required the National Rugby League to step in.
Parramatta Eels seem to be plagued with problems at board level with a high amount of politicking taking place at election time.
Eels fans hopefully will get in a board they can trust to do the right thing by their proud club.
There’s plenty to like about twenty year old winger Bevan French who took the rugby league world by storm with a magnificent debut season.
In just thirteen games French has crossed for nineteen tries, with three hat-tricks coming against Cronullla, St George-Illawarra and New Zealand Warriors.
He was also outstanding in the Downer Auckland Nines where Parramatta won the final only to have the prize stripped following their infamous salary cap debacle.
There’s plenty of potential and that’s the reason why they re-signed him until the end of 2019.
2017 GAINS AND LOSSES
GAINS: Kirisome Auva’a (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Nathan Brown (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Josh Hoffman (Gold Coast Titans), George Jennings (Penrith Panthers), Suaia Matagi (Penrith Panthers), Marata Niukore (New Zealand Warriors), Will Smith (Penrith Panthers), Siosaia Vave (Manly Sea Eagles)
LOSSES: Mitch Cornish (Sydney Roosters), Kieran Foran (New Zealand Warriors), Tyrell Fuimaono (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Michael Gordon (Sydney Roosters), Luke Kelly (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Ryan Morgan (St Helens RLFC), Kieren Moss (Bradford Bulls), Junior Paulo (Canberra Raiders), Nathan Peats (Gold Coast Titans), Anthony Watmough (retired), Danny Wicks (retired)