The Parramatta Eels identify as a Development Club.
That means that the club’s pathways system, the integral process for developing home grown NRL players, is a priority.
It’s likely that not many people, outside of those closely connected to Junior Rep Programs, are aware of the work, commitment and resources that go into preparing each and every week for competitions such as the Harold Matthews Cup, the SG Ball Cup and the Tarsha Gale Cup.
The Cumberland Throw has been covering Junior Reps matches since we first launched. Our contributors have followed the teams for much longer. We are proud of our support and coverage of such programs.
Yet, when Forty and I attended the Jersey Presentations, Captains Run, and video review of the opposition before this year’s season opener, it was a genuine learning experience.
And just as we were privileged to share with our readers the Jersey Presentations for the Harold Matts and SG Ball teams, we are also privileged to share this with you – a video diary of the week leading into the SG Ball team’s recent Round 6 clash with the Raiders.
By way of a background to this match, the Raiders were undefeated and sitting at the top of the table. The Eels, by contrast, were precariously placed in sixth position, with the six team finals series only three rounds down the track.
This montage covers the week, from the Monday video review, through the various training sessions including conditioning, weights, skills and team, and culminating (spoiler) in the raucous victory celebrations in the Eels sheds.
The commitment of all concerned cannot be understated – from staff (with their work demands and family life outside of the team) to the players (who try to balance their studies and Plan B goals with their dedication to football ambitions).
Our thanks to Neil Dunkley, the team’s Strength and Conditioning Trainer, for creating this video and allowing us to share it with you.
We hope you enjoy it.