Paul Galen, who is well aware of the success of the drought-breaking Premiership, has tended to “embracing” the weight of history rather than viewing Parramatta as a “burden”.
When the Eels make their way to the NRL Grand Final against the Panthers on Sunday night, they will aim to win the club’s first title since 1986.
No club in the competition has had a longer premiership drought than the Eels, who booked their tickets to the Grand Finals at Sydney Olympic Park with a 24-20 preliminary final win over the Cowboys in Townsville on Friday night.
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Cronulla joined the league in 1967 and Galen captained the club to its first premiership in 2016, leading the Sharks to a 14–12 victory over the Storm in the Grand Final.
The Sharks veteran warned the Eels of fear of the club’s premiership drought.
“You know what Parramatta has to do? They have to embrace it, they have to enjoy it and they have to do it. You can’t see it as a burden. You have to be on a rugby league field. , You need the ball and you want to win,” Galen said on the Nine 100% footy,
“These Parramatta players can’t see it as a burden in my eyes. They want to do it.
“They just have to be the next best thing, which is what they will be if they win this competition. They will be absolute superstars forever. They will be able to create a legacy for themselves that will never go away.”
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“But they want it. They want to embrace the day, they want to embrace the victory and they have to go out there and get it done.”
Galen said the Sharks welcomed the challenge of becoming the club’s first Premiership team, revealing that talking about it was an important part of their preparation.
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“I remember the last contract I signed at Cronula, I promised myself that I was going to win the premiership at the club,” said Galen.
The Eels are set to feature in their first Grand Final since 2009, when they lost to the Storm 23-16. Melbourne’s 2007 and 2009 premierships were stripped due to a discrepancy in the pay ceiling.
Not since Parramatta’s glory days – in years illuminated by the likes of Peter Stirling, Brett Kenny, Ray Price, Mick Cronin and Eric Groth Sr. – has the club tasted Premiership glory.
Gulzar Gali before the Grand Final
“To go ahead and really do that, to embrace all of that, to embrace that history and to go out there and do it is an absolute dream come true and one that you’ll never forget – and that’s Parramatta. needs to be done,” Galen said.
“They can’t see it as a burden. They want it, want to work hard for it, go out there and enjoy the game.
“Enjoy the first week, they have to enjoy this week. It’s a different week. There’s a lot of media, a lot of press, a lot of hype around it, but you have to enjoy it. Can’t let
“You have to really enjoy it and be as fit and healthy as you can in the match, and go out there and win. If you get the win you make your legacy and history forever.”
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