Retro Round – The Glory Days

This article was first written by Melissa Muscat, 2017 Parramatta Eels Members Councillor.

Retro Round. 1980’s. My absolute favourite era in time. How good was the music? When I think retro I think fluoro, leg warmers, Cyndi Lauper, Milli Vanilli and The Parramatta Eels. The latter two being the best of the decade without a doubt. Even though Milli Vanilli were exposed for not actually singing anything on their record!

One thing’s for sure though, the mighty Eels were without a doubt the real deal with their record four premierships being the most successful in the club’s history. If you’re an Eels fan, it’s all about the 80’s. That is when many of the Eels and Bulldogs gained their supporters and passed it down to the younger generations. I am a product of that. Thanks Mum! They were most definitely the Glory years and many Parra fans today are living off them, waiting eagerly for it to be replicated in the near future. We don’t even need four, one will do! Two would be awesome.

It’s fitting that this week the Eels play the Bulldogs, a club also highly successful in the 80’s but also because we have hit or stride just in time for Retro Round. Matty Johns said it all last week in the lead up to the Brisbane game, he is really rating Parra’s game at the moment. When he tipped the Eels on Friday morning I thought the guy may have made a mistake. Clearly he knows a thing or two about footy as does Andrew Voss. In his article for Fox Sports this week he states that the Eels won’t just be there in the eight but also believes this team can deliver the club it’s first premiership since 1986!!! You melted the heart of every Parra fan Vossy!!!

In the Members 47 lounge after last week’s Brisbane game, the excitement in the air was rife. The patient and loyal fans are waiting eagerly and a premiership can’t come soon enough. The Blue and Gold Army know how difficult premierships are to come by as we also waited 34 years for our first, and they should never be taken for granted but if and when that day happens…as I don’t like to jinx things…there is going to be one very big celebration in Parramatta. I luckily have school holidays at that time but my family and friends know I will mostly definitely be missing in action for a little while should that day come before I’m 90.

And what about the James Hardie jersey? Will we see that replicated on Thursday night? I love the dominance of yellow on our jerseys. That’s what makes us the Eels. There are many other teams who wear blue but the Eels are blue and gold and that gold identifies us as Parra.

There’s no doubt about it the Eels are a club with a rich history. They have a phenomenal amount of supporters, right across Sydney and even throughout Australia with many members living interstate. I live in the Sutherland Shire and when I go for my beach walk or around the local area in my cap or jersey, someone will always let me know they are also an Eels supporter. That’s why I have no doubt we can be the number one club in the NRL. Parra hold the third highest membership and haven’t made finals in eight years. Give us five years and some finals success and I believe, as Buzz Rothfield said, we can be the NRL powerhouse of Sydney…and the comp. Not just western Sydney. I have said this many times at our Eels Members Council meetings.

So before Parra achieve huge success and you run the risk of being called a bandwagon supporter, get the legwarmers, headbands and Hardie jerseys out and get out to ANZ stadium this Thursday night to kick off Retro Round and support the boys. It should be a cracker.