The Parramatta Eels will be looking to take a step forward in 2017 with a new board of directors, including the new CEO Bernie Gurr. After a challenging 2016 season, Brad Arthur will be hoping his boys and team can start fresh in the new season.
Last Season Placing: Finished in 14th place
Parramatta Eels will want to forget the 2016 season after they started the year being retracted of their Auckland Nines Victory after the salary cap scandal (which continued throughout the year) surrounded the club. Than the Eels lost their co- captain Kieran Foran after he was stood down due to suffering a shoulder injury and further being granted indefinite leave to deal with personal issues.
The drama that surrounded the club in 2016 would come to no surprise to any fans and the Eels will be looking to start fresh. The off-field dramas would have easily been a distraction for the players especially after the departure of Nathan Peats who signed to the Titans after the Eels couldn’t afford to give him another contract.
Corey Norman: Corey Norman will need to put 110% into this season especially after the off-field dramas last year, which left him suspended for eight weeks. He will need to focus on his playmaking and kicking game to lead Parramatta’s side to victory. All eyes will be on him to perform in attempt to add spark into the side.
Josh Hoffman: Josh Hoffman has signed for the Eels this season after playing with the Gold Coast Titans. Hoffman has played for the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Titans and is known for his pace, aggression and determination. Most likely being sent into the number five jersey as a winger, his agility and determination will be huge for the Eels as he will be there to score the tries for his side. He can also take experience into the side after playing 158 games in the NRL and scoring 48 tries in total.
Bevan French: Bevan French was included into the side last year and handled the off-field drama very well. He impressed coach Brad Arthur and looks to have secured the fullback position for the 2017 season. The experience and mind-set he gained last year through the season will assist French continue to excel as a fullback.If he combines with Norman, Gutherson or Hoffman he will be most likely sent in to score majority of the team’s tries.
Story of 2017:
The Parramatta Eels will go in with a clear mind set and if able have minimum distractions throughout the year they have a good chance of making the top 8.
With a strong combination in the halves, Corey Norman and Clint Gutherson will continue their strong partnership they acquired last year together. These two players have a crucial role within the side to control and create play.
If distractions stay away from the team and the boys remains fit, the Eels be a side to be reckoned with and will make top 8.
Top Try Scorer: Bevan French
Top points scorer: Corey Norman
Player of the Year: Clint Gutherson