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.
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.
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.
Excited for 2017,
Images courtesy of The Parramatta Eels and The Daily Telegraph.