IT is almost that time that all of us involved in rugby league, whether you are a member, player or coach look forward to - round one.
The team has worked extremely hard this pre-season and I couldn't be happier. When they returned before Christmas I asked all the players to focus their individual needs. I wanted them to put themselves first so that when we started to put things together closer to the trials, everyone was at the best they could be in order to be most valuable to the team.
We had a large contingent of players involved at the World Cup which whilst disruptive you could clearly see that they each brought something back from England.
Whether it was confidence or a clear mind every man came back to get to work, which was so important with so many new faces in our squad not to mention a new coaching staff.
Your 2014 squad will have a distinctively new look about it with new names in key positions. Five-eighth Corey Norman, hooker Nathan Peats and centre Will Hopoate have all had a major influence on our pre-season. We also welcome a host of other recruits including Justin Hunt, Lee Mossop, David Gower, Brenden Santi and Bureta Faraimo.
What we also have is a group of young players who have come through our development system and are now pushing for regular first grade spots. Players like Kelepi Tanginoa, Peni Terepo, Jacob Loko, John Folau, Zach Dockar-Clay and Pauli Pauli.
Overall as a team we are in a good place but the real test comes in round one.
I am not going to make promises about results but I can guarantee you this; your Eels will be a team that will turn up each week with a will to win and an intention to do our members proud.
Becoming a member means you don't simply support a team, you are a part of one. As a team we know the
commitment you have made to us and we have a responsibility to repay that through the way we conduct ourselves on the field and off it.
Thanks so much for your support so far and enjoy the 2014 season.