Proof we won’t take cul­ture ly­ing down

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT -

IT was a sight to be­hold on a sunny Satur­day morn­ing at Par­ra­matta train­ing.

Around 200 play­ers across five grades com­plet­ing a tough pre-sea­son ses­sion to­gether. It’s a far cry from last sea­son when poor per­for­mances re­sulted in a frac­tured team en­vi­ron­ment.

“Last year when we had team lunches only half the side would be there,” prop Te­pai Mo­eroa said.

“But this year we have ev­ery­one com­ing. There is def­i­nitely a dif­fer­ent men­tal­ity to last year and a one-in, all-in buy in to what we are try­ing to build.

“I think train­ing with all the grades helps with that club cul­ture.

“When you are train­ing NRL or NSW Cup you don’t re­alise you have such an im­pact on the lower grades or the girls.

“But joint ses­sions like this make you un­der­stand you can help them.”

Eels coach Brad Arthur says the joint club train­ing ses­sions were im­ple­mented to im­prove club har­mony.

He con­cedes the team cul­ture dropped this sea­son com­pared to 2017 when Par­ra­matta put aside salary cap claims to reach the semi-fi­nals.

“I’ve talked about us be­com­ing tighter as a group,” Arthur said.

“In 2017 we were re­ally tight and we had a few ex­ter­nal things driv­ing us.

“Maybe last sea­son we thought it was just go­ing to hap­pen and we didn’t work hard enough on be­ing that tight group.”

Arthur has no­ticed a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence around the club this pre­sea­son, es­pe­cially in the joint train­ing ses­sions.

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