G’day Legends! 

I've been doing some very deep soul searching regarding our 2022 departures.
I have managed to convince myself of the most likely reason for those departures and why I think it might be less of a crisis than many of us first thought. I've tried my best to squeeze my thoughts down into something digestible. I hope some of you find it helpful.

When you push the boat out at the start of the year as a team, you are sure that you are ready to compete for a chance to win the competition.
A team comes together after a much deserved break and is ready to go through a hellish offseason and make personal/physical sacrifices with glory in mind.
Some teams and clubs, though, know that they are a bit more likely than others.
Our boys, without doubt, pulled up for the first day of pre season this year,
convinced they have what it takes to go all the way. A galvanised, committed and tight group. A group that has barely changed for two seasons or so, personnel wise. A group that came within seconds and inches of a chance to accomplish their dream. Cruelly coming up short to the team that eventually went on to steal that dream away.

So what do we have there to investigate?
A playing group that was kept together for 2 seasons.
A team full of fringe origin players and International stars. 
A squad that consists of the kind of pieces it takes to go all the way.
Players that have beaten the best. Players who have proven to themselves, our fans, the club and, unfortunately, 
other clubs that they are elite producers.
What else do we know?
Any team that wins the comp gets raided. The past 12 months were no different, The Panthers turning over nearly half a starting side worth of premiership winning players.
Year after year it's the same.
Year after year though, the team that was good enough to compete for that same title, find themself in the same position as the champions. With a roster full of talent they can no longer
What has changed?
The fact players and their representation are forced to discuss their options 12 months before they used to.
Before the coach or captain can kneel down next to their mate, hoist them up, wipe their tears and look them in the eyes. After just falling short of th glory within their reach.

Telling them ‘we will get them next year’ ‘go around with me one more time brother, we will get the bastards’ ‘hold off on taking that big payday you deserve, I will too, we will taste glory together’.
Why does that lead us to the position we are in today?
It's not about the club low balling them, insulting them, devaluing them.
It's about the club trying their best to convince them that they need to stick together, to give the club more chances to win a premiership. ‘We know you can earn 600 there, but take 450 for another couple of years here’ ‘we can keep you all together’.

But what we fail to consider is the perspective of the athlete. No longer can they secure the title first, before they move on. They need to take the advice from their manager and act accordingly a year in advance. The cost of the new system. The new era of the NRL. 

In Paradise this year, each athlete is already completely convinced they will be champions. They have each pushed their chips in. They are acting accrodingly. Taking the big deal that takes them away from the premiership but closer to a secure future for their families.

The raid of the premiers happens a year in advance and we have protected our major assets as best we could. We have kept what is essential, so that we can get to work again filling the roster full of talent that can go all the way.
They got us to where we are now and following a bridging year, not a rebuilding year, we will be back in the middle of our premiership window once again. 

There are positives and negatives to the way the system is set up, this is one of the negatives.
We have all seen in the past, players signing deals after the comp that were probably written up halfway through the year.
A scenario probably not to far from, 'If you win the comp then you can come play for us. If you come up short, no hard feelings and go around again with your current club. We will be waiting.'

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    Very thought provoking Jed, i like it.

  • Hey  Jed great blog. Nice read . With the players leaving the chips really must be all in for this season, we're getting the majority of injured players back, and hopefully they can string a few together as its top 4 or go home.

    The inconsistencies for mine are mainly due to the disruptions with players leaving maybe making the group not as tight as it could be, but they really need to all realize that this year is a great chance of success.


  • Jed Bronson, a very thoughtful and meaningful blog.

    I have featured it on our home page as well as it deserves it.

    I'm going to have to re-read, ponder more deeply on it, and chew on it slowly to extract all its meaning.

  • If he is fit, Hodgson needs to be given the captaincy next year - this is a given. Otherwise we are just wasting our time year after year with the leadership group we have presently.

    • What does that have to do with this year Adam? If we win this year and Gutho is captain, do you think they will give it to Hodgson. Will Hodgson be able to train from the beginning of the next preseason, will he have enough on his plate just getting fit. What happens if he redoes his ACL in the first 3 matches, probably a 50% chance.....who becomes captain then.

      A thoughtful blog would have been if Hodgson can prove his fitness next year and this season becomes a disaster, then lets hope someone like him can lead us next year.

      Your post in absolute terms is just preemptive and dumb and like so many shows no vision or thought. It is unusual you would be like that Adam with your sincere admission of knowing little about the game or really even giving a shit about Parra.

    • Dear Adam hmmmm  , i mean Mrs Hodgson, your boy is welcome at the Eels and we will try to look after him, we would love it if he took on a leadership role and lead by example on the field. However we have another fine candidate already entrenched in the Eels culture that would perform the role exceptionally well, he is about to become our clubs first million dollar a year on the cap player, and shows enormous potential as a future captain.  If you have any problem s with that feel free to contact Mrs Moses in the first instance.

    • That is not a given

      • Maybe a poor choice of words on my part at 3am. We are on track for exactly the same result as last year and similar to those in recent years. Maybe under the current regime this as good as things get and we need to either accept that or make change. What do you suggest we do? Hodgson is a better captain (and leader) than anyone in our side.

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