SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Tim Mannah of the Eels looks on during the round 15 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on June 18, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

After one of the worst years in Parramatta’s history, Eels players will be scrambling in 2019 to prove their worth to a club which has a staggering $7 million worth off players unsigned beyond next season.

Of the club’s 28 listed players, an unprecedented 20 players will go into 2019 with the knowledge that their performance in every game will determine their future with the club.

Manu Ma’u, Michael Jennings, Clint Gutherson, Daniel Alvaro, Corey Norman and Mitchell Moses are all free agents after next season, as is veteran and club captain Tim Mannah, who enters 2019 coming off a horror 2018 on and off the playing field.

Rather than view the situation negatively, the Daily Telegraph reports that Mannah considers the next season an opportunity which can work favourably for the Eels.

“It’s a different situation to what I’ve seen in the past,” Mannah said.

“In a way it’s helped us all that we’re all on the same page and want to work hard for each other. Not a whole lot of the players through to the coaching staff have a contract (beyond next year).

“As a playing group it’s forced us to all band together.

“It’s not something you want to do every year, you don’t want everyone playing for their dinner every year. But it’s not a bad thing after the year we had. There is a lot more on the line.

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“It’s the unspoken (bond). Everyone knows the position we’re in as a group.

“Everyone is trying to make sure we don’t go the same way. Everyone had a look at themselves in the mirror. Players, performance staff, coaching staff and office staff are looking how to improve their department.”


    • To be fair, Tim gives his all for the fans every time he takes the field. AS for some of the other guys, well that is a different story isn’t it.

      • Yes that is true, I was being a bit harsh on Tim, he does give his best all the time, same as when Hindy was playing for you. IMHO if ever someone deserved to win a Grand Final it was Hindy for sheer effort!!
        I can accept my team getting beaten if they have put in the effort, but it’s disappointing when they don’t have a crack.

    • I don’t get all the hate for mannah, he’s a good guy and you can never criticise him for putting in for the team.
      He was actually one of our best this season once he got over the run of head knocks he took. Consistently made ground and very rarely missed a tackle. One thing he does give more than a lot of others is a fast ptb….regardless his value on the cap is fairly low.
      theres a fair few that should be “retired” before mannah imho.

      • Not actually hating on the guy, just used his name from the quote. I could have phrased it better as he is one of your players that does have a go every game.

      • Beware the sting of the electric eels dreaglor. They usually hunt in packs of three.

        Tim is a great bloke and an honest, hard working footballer. Although unexceptional he still gives 100% for the eels each week (just like Jason Clark did for Souths).

        I knew a sports journo (also an eels fan) who was good mates with Tim and spoke very highly of him as a man and for his work with charity away from the game.

        Don’t be too harsh with poor dreaglor the “3 wise eels”, he is just excited, as we all are, to be on the banter train. 🚂🚃🚃🚃🚃

      • Of all the players mentioned in this article I cannot believe Manu Ma,u and Gutho are not high on the retention wishlist. Parrammatta need a clean out and rebuild like Newcastle have started to do. Tough choices need to be made and personally I would start with the coach. I know “ losing the change room “ is a bit of a cliche now, but Brad Arthur appears to have lost it big time. Not bagging the guy but the players need more leadership than they seem to be getting. They should be more aggressive in the player market and need to be targeting some marquee players or they are in for a few more spoons I’m afraid.


    Sorry Parra, looks like it’s garage sale time. Secondhand props in the left, hard running backrower in the right and here are a bunch of underperforming backs.

    • Are you Putin your little Red foot forward “Slammin Sam” and Lenin your support to Mao’s little red book? No Stalin now, I want to hear your answer.

      There is no equality in communism champ. Just ask the 3 little pigs in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” (paraphrased):

      “All [supporters] are equal, but some [supporters] are more equal than others.”

      If old George could see the collection of animals in the NRL today he would realise that it was the Roosters and not the Pigs that are running the zoo and are “more equal” than everyone else.

  2. will be eating jail muck for din-dins. without even playing a game.👮‍♀️👮‍♂️👮‍♀️👮‍♂️👮‍♀️👮‍♂️👮‍♀️👮‍♂️

  3. In all honesty I don’t think we’ve got a bad squad, or a bad coach, but 2018 obviously didn’t work for us.
    I’m surprised we are at the cap already, but we do have a couple of backended deals (Norman and Jennings, at least).
    With the benefit of hindsight I can understand people blaming BA.
    There are a lot of good players in that squad, and a lot of players that did their job, so maybe it was structural/the wrong overall balance. For example, the halves are too similar in their “off the cuff” styles, but no organiser, or the FRF’s are all good “workhorses”, but no “x factor” etc. I can buy that arguememt, with the benefit of hindsight, and I can even wear the “well if I (as just a supporter) can see that, a professional coach should have rectified it long before it became apparent” arguememt, but I still back BA to fix it.
    Going forward, I just hope we don’t fall into the “buy a couple of guns, at any price” trap again (and it seems to get us every time). I don’t think we have with Fargo, at $500k, even though some are calling that a “big money move”, but someone like Cook, and as much as I rate him, would only come to Parra (at the moment at least) for mega bucks, even though part of his real value is in his “passion footy” (I think he would play better at the Bunnies, in the short term at least, than at any other club).
    P.S, Reg, as per your comment above, the “3 wise Eels” are always fair.

    • I agree re Cook. We don’t have the pack to set the platform for him at the moment, so I don’t see him being as effective with us as Souths. AS much as I like him as a player, the asking price is too high.

      I honestly think the days of paying way overs for guns are behind us (hopefully anyway) You could definitely argue that Paulo is overs, but I am happy with the signing.

      As for the halves, we are stuck with them for another 12 months so we have to make do. Unless Norman plays fullback they will both be in the halves, so BA needs to make a decision on who is in charge and go with it.

    • as good as cook as, I don’t think he would fit the style of play that the current pack could deliver, even taking into account the arrival of JP and Lane.
      If BA is still coach in in 2020 (big IF), then he would definitely not suit BA’s style of play, a solid, distributing defensive orientated DH seems to be what BA likes (think Peats, de Gois)
      PLus as quite rightly said above, he would make a massive dint in the cap and probably ensure the likes of Mahoney and Schneider are lost to the club.
      Those saying that Paulo was paid overs were quickly denounced by Bernie when he was quoted as saying the figures in the media were way off the mark – how much is way off is may just be a case of semantics.
      The additions of Fergo, Paulo and Lane are good ones, just wish there more of that type than there has been but the core is still ok, not good or great, but ok.
      AS long as finish ahead of manly, that will be a positive season lol

  4. Tim Mannah should be 1st to go in 2019
    There has to be a big turn over in this roster we have some players are on massive overs and others and under performing. Definitely need some bigger forwards and a top notch hooker
    This would be my side for 2019

    1: C Gutherson ( c )
    2: M Sivo ( try scoring freak )
    3: M Fonua ( sign from tigers )
    4: B Ferguson
    5: G Mosby Gela ( sign from cowboys )
    6: T Marie Martin ( sign from cowboys )
    7: D Brown ( rising star )
    8: G Burgess ( sign from Souths )
    9: A Koroisau ( sign from manly )
    10: T Burgess ( sign from Souths )
    11: M Mau ( sign him for 1 year )
    12: S Lane
    13: N Brown

    14: Jr Paulo
    15: D Alvaro
    16: P Terepo
    17: R Mahoney
    18: T Moeroa

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