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We can rebuild from NRL rubble: Eels

Last-placed Parramatta insist they can rebuild their shattered NRL season following last week's savage cleanout which left a dozen players with careers in limbo.
We can rebuild from NRL rubble: Eels
by AAP

By Joe Barton

SYDNEY, June 10 AAP - Last-placed Parramatta insist they can rebuild their shattered NRL season following last week's savage cleanout which left a dozen players with careers in limbo.

Eels coach Ricky Stuart and chief executive Ken Edwards masterminded the mass axing, which was relayed to players in a meeting last Wednesday.

Reni Maitua, one of the players who has been told he is unwanted, sat out Friday's loss to the Sydney Roosters but fellow co-captain Tim Mannah believes morale at the club is still in good shape.

Rugged hooker Matt Keating is off contract at the end of the season and one of the players who was told he didn't have a future at the Eels under Stuart.

He said he could see how outsiders might view the recent events at the club as being a distraction for the rest of the season - but said that would only be the case if the players allowed it to be.

"I think people can say that, definitely," Keating said on Monday.

"But as long as each individual doesn't let it get to their head or let their emotions take over, we should be fine."

Keating said it was "unclear" whether Stuart and the Eels might change their minds and extend his time at the club, but that there was plenty of time to showcase his skills to prospective suitors.

"I'm just still weighing up my options and seeing what's out there," he said.

"I'm off contract and whatever is in front of me, I'll take."

Keating said the news he wasn't wanted actually didn't come as too great of a shock, and revealed just how clear Stuart was in stamping his mark on the Eels.

"It was presented in a way of 'this is what's happening in the future and if you don't like it, bad luck - otherwise man up and move on'," Keating said.

"... To tell you the truth, I wasn't too shocked by the meeting.

"I think it's something that the club has looked for and that's the direction they want to go in.

"We've just got to stick it out."

Mannah felt the culling was simply a sign of the times, and could even be beneficial to the players who are being moved on.

"The industry we're in, as athletes, you're not always guaranteed your spot in the team every year," he said.

"I think these guys are going to go on to greener pastures.

"A bit of a change will be great for them.

"There's still plenty of footy to be played. They get a chance to put their best foot forward and push their career even further."




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