The Cumberland Throw

A New Home Ground & The Importance of Membership

For those among us Parramatta fans old enough to remember the early 1980’s, we can recall a time not dissimilar to what we are about to enter into with Season 2017.

Our home ground being demolished and rebuilt is not exactly new territory to many Eels fans.
In the wake of the brilliant news of the announcement of the new, independent, highly experienced and skilled board at the club, I thought I’d take a moment to shift the focus for just a moment.

Cumberland Oval being rebuilt during the early 80’s

Membership and Why It’s Important to our Club

First of all, let me say that there’s nothing i could add on top of the amazing article that Clint gave us just recently as to exactly why the Eels ARE the most marketable sporting identity in  Western Sydney (please feel free to re-read this outstanding article to refresh your memories!).  As we launch towards the start of the 2017 season, with our membership count currently at 18,267, it’s important that we continue this great trend and see this translate to numbers at our home matches at ANZ Stadium.

There’s nothing that our players love more than a sea of blue and gold urging and lifting them on. I’ll point to Round 6, 2016 against the Canberra Raiders. Early in the second half, wave after wave, consecutive sets of six tackles, Canberra threw everything at the Parramatta defence. The fans rose as one to urge the defenders on and the line did not crack. The cheer that went up around the ground when Parramatta forced the final error from Canberra was incredible. But the effect it had on the players? Invaluable. Several of the players spoke about that day, they spoke about THAT moment when the fans stood and cheered after the players held their line. The players spoke about it how lifted them to another level.

Eels vs Raiders, Round 6, 2016. Our voice can make a difference

That’s the difference that membership and being at the game can make.

Whether you’re a ticketed member with your regular seat, whether you have an out of state membership, a flexi membership, swarm ticket, captain’s club, general admission or you’re a non ticketed member, buying game tickets when you can get to a game, it’s that sort of support and being there that lifts the players.

As we head to our first season away from our home at Parramatta, it’s probably more important than ever, to be right there behind the team in membership, that we turn ANZ stadium a sea of Blue and Gold .

What’s been encouraging as well has been an initiative from a variety of the dedicated supporters groups to unite and create a new supporters area, similar in set up to theone that South Sydney fans have established, “The Burrow”.

And it’s no small task!

The cross group team has been working tirelessly and has already held talks with the club and ANZ Stadium about getting a supporters area set aside , the large banner register and there’s even discussions as to what ANZ Stadium expects as a code of conduct from a supporters group.

So as we march towards Round 1, excited for what the season has to offer, no matter where you intend to watch the games, it’s important, now more than ever to rally behind our great team, lift our voices as one, let those membership numbers flow to numbers in attendance and lift our boys on the field.

Let’s see an ocean of this at ANZ stadium in 2017.

Excited for 2017,

DK Eel

Images courtesy of The Parramatta Eels and The Daily Telegraph.

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15 thoughts on “A New Home Ground & The Importance of Membership

  1. Mitchy

    Agreed DK, let’s see an ocean and let us all drown in blue and gold glory….members and non need to get out there, and I only hope the parking and food costs are considered. As taking families should be some form of priority.
    Nice warm article for a showering arvo mate….cheers

  2. DK Eel Post author

    cheers mate 🙂

    I remember a few of us chatting to the players after that Canberra match. They were so buzzed about how the crowd got behind them. It was amazing in the stands that day, the atmosphere was (no pun intended!) electric, but when you hear from the players just how much it lifted them on the field, it really impacts you on just how important it is, not just to be a member, but to raise our voice at the ground for the guys.

    Just inspiring stuff to hear!

    And also, I can’t wait to see what our version of “The Burrow” will be like. I know a few different supporter groups are trying to make it happen together. Lot’s of effort behind the scenes going on to make it happen and make it happen the RIGHT way too.

    It’s a great time to be an Eels fan !!!

    1. DK Eel Post author

      Bernie was all class in that press conference.

      I noticed a few questions that may have been designed to get him to bite, but the guy is such a classy operator and a total professional .

  3. Jason

    Good read DK Eel and I couldn’t agree more! I try to attend most Eels games whether they be home and away as it does lift the players.
    I remember that Raiders game and it was so evident that the crowd did lift the team who went on to win impressively that day. The other time was a few years back in a game against Melbourne on a Monday night if I recall correctly and everything was against us but with the help of the crowd albeit a small crowd that night the roars and applause really got the boys home!
    Can’t wait!!!

  4. Clint

    Membership is so vital DK. Supporters can not underestimate the value it has to the Club. The most important thing to consider with it, is the mindset towards membership. It is not purely about the pack of goodies that comes along with it, it’s about investing in the financial future of your Club.

    Over the course of a few years I was in a position where I received complimentary membership and still chose to purchase my season tickets. This is something I was under no obligation to do whatsoever, but I chose to because I believed in investing money and contributing to the growth and development of the Club I hold so dear. It’s these collective actions of supporters that allowed us to be in a position to acquire the Old Salesyard land for our new training facilities.

    Season tickets are great and the obvious reason why many supporters purchase membership in the first place, but if you find yourself in a position where you can’t regularly attend games or can’t attend at all, please don’t make the mistake of thinking membership isn’t for you. There are a number of flexi-game and non-ticketing membership options available where you can do your part.

    Every dollar is re-invested back into the Clubs operations to help the football department develop and grow so that we can have a team that has access to the best training facilities in the game, as well as the highest calibre of coaches. This is the most important thing to consider when it comes to purchasing membership and the more people who make this investment, the stronger we become as an organisation!

    More members equals a stronger Parramatta team on the field and at the end of the day, that’s what we all want.

    If you haven’t already secured a membership of some sort, you can do so here:

      1. Anonymous

        cheers mate.

        Membership is such a vital part of our club’s success. We have such an opportunity to have the strongest membership in the NRL , the most marketable team in Western Sydney …. when I look at other “growth area clubs” that have a target of 12,000 members and they barely managed to hit 8,000, I can only wonder just how much of a league juggernaut Parramatta CAN be if we achieved our membership potential (we have good numbers so far, and I would like to think that with the new board, a new season and with some good form in 2017, the membership numbers can still swell)

        and PS …… another excellent article on the role of halves in our game mate!

  5. Walpy

    I reckon we members should be known as “the Pond”. And opposition supporters known as “Pond Scum! “…….or is that too harsh?

  6. Rowdy

    Well said DK. It is imperative we encourage all the lounge lizards to get back out to the games.

    I am particularly pleased to hear the comments relayed from the players who acknowledged the lift it gave them out on the field.

    On that Parra Melbourne game a few (quite a few perhaps) years back. I remember going to That game? maybe, but the one I recall was where J. Hayne and B. Slater threw everything at each it was a ripper of a contest and I think we won? I’m sure others will remember my recollections and the other details I’ve missed. That’s DK.

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