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.

“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.”

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