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Arthur sends 'good vibes' to new-look Eels

Day one of pre-season training and rookie Parramatta coach Brad Arthur already has Eels stalwart Tim Mannah smiling.
Arthur sends 'good vibes' to new-look Eels
by AAP

By Roje Adaimy

SYDNEY, Nov 11 AAP - Day one of pre-season training and rookie Parramatta coach Brad Arthur already has Eels stalwart Tim Mannah smiling.

Grey skies and heavy rain did little to dampen Mannah's enthusiasm for the year ahead and the tough task the Eels face to convert two consecutive NRL wooden spoons into something much better next season.

The Eels are early favourites to finish last on the NRL ladder again in 2014 but Mannah said a slew of new recruits, Arthur's appointment and the arrival of new chief executive Scott Seward represented a fresh start and he's optimistic.

"As obvious as what's happened the last two seasons are, we're not focusing on any of the negatives," Mannah told reporters on Monday.

"We're not looking backwards, we're looking forwards; 2014 is a whole new opportunity to perform and it starts today.

"For us, it's all about starting now and getting ready for the season ahead."

Mannah said he was excited to be working under former Manly assistant Arthur, who was signed after Ricky Stuart sensationally walked out after last season to link up with Canberra.

"He (Arthur) has got a real spring in his step and it's really infectious," he added.

"Everyone's really buying into his attitude and his vibes - it's very positive.

"We've also got a new young CEO, who's doing a great job, and a lot of new faces.

"Between the new coach, new CEO, new faces, there's a really good vibe around the joint."

All bar two of the Eels' new recruits took to the field on Monday, including ex-Brisbane five-eighth Corey Norman and former South Sydney pair Nathan Peats and Justin Hunt.

Star acquisition William Hopoate, yet to complete his two-year Mormon mission, and England international Lee Mossop, in the UK for the Rugby League World Cup, will link up with the team in the coming weeks.

Peats admitted to feeling some nerves arriving at a new club for the first time in his NRL career, labelling his move from the Rabbitohs the "hardest decision of my life".

Peats was stuck behind Kiwis hooker Isaac Luke at Souths and struggling to get NRL match time.

"Obviously I have a lot of close friends at Souths and they have a lot of good staff there, but it felt like I had to go and that's why I asked for a release to come here because I think I have a better opportunity here," he said.

"I'm just happy to have a fresh start - I think I need it in my life to be honest.

"It'll probably (take) a couple of weeks to find my feet but after that I think I'll be right.

"I know I'm good enough to play first grade week-in week-out and that's what I've got to prove to myself, no-one else."

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