CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Momentum is growing in Sydney’s second city this week, as the Parramatta Eels quiet and graciously begin preparations for the 2022 NRL Grand Final.
Pandemonium will break through the Western Suburbs this weekend, as the embattled Eels take to Sydney Olympic Park for a ‘Battle Of The West’ against their neighbours the Penrith Panthers.
Not since their 2009 Grand Final appearance have the long-suffering Parramatta fans felt this close to glory, only to have the silverware snatched from them by a salary-cap rorting Melbourne Storm.
No club in the entire NRL competition has a longer premiership drought than the Eels, who have grinded their way to the Big Dance with a 24-20 preliminary final win over the Cowboys in Townsville on Friday night.
However, as was reported last week, the Parra fans are not familiar with this kind of momentum – and are not yet counting their chickens before they hatch.
Last Wednesday, The Betoota Advocate spoke to a degenerate Eels supporter about his hopes, dreams and fears leading into last week’s semi.
“See how we go hey…” said local Parra diehard, Harrison Park – behind a stoic shield of self-doubt and superstition.
Harrison’s reluctance to celebrate too early was not an isolated case. Right across the country, Parra fans have been hurt too many times to cheer like an obnoxious Bunnies or Panthers supporter.
However, this timidness might’ve changed in the last 48 hours – as the little engine that could approaches the mountain peak with a gutful of steam.
Reports coming out of the Parra leagues can today confirmed that that the Eels coach Brad Arthur has just arrived in Sterlo’s Sports Bar dressed like a Premiership winning coach.
Complete with with gold-framed sunglasses, the 229-match coach has broken out the iconic Kangaroo fur coach made famous by the first man to ever take them all the way. Jack Gibson (three successive premierships 1981, 1982, 1983)
Witnesses say that Arthur does not even appear to look uncomfortable in such a glitzy number, with excitement bubbling from Parra Lane all the way through to the pokies.
“I’m starting to believe” said one punter Rosie Hill.
“Brad looks the part. Parra looks the part”
“Go you mighty Eels”