Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Clint Gutherson has been a part of a few very strong Parramatta sides in recent years, whether that be the side that broke their finals drought in 2017, the one that went undefeated for the first half of the season in 2020 or even last year’s squad who came so close to reaching the Preliminary Final.
However, the Parramatta captain believes that the Eels squad heading into 2022 is the strongest of them all.
The fullback has recently spoken to Fox Sports reporter James Hooper about the possibility of the club’s 36-year premiership drought coming to an end in 2022, which is where he made the following bold statement.
“Look I’m not going to lie, it’s probably our strongest squad yet,” said Gutherson.
“We have to go out there and make it happen now.
“It’s up to us, we’re probably pretty lucky in a way that all (the contract negotiations) are out of the way.
“We’re not going to have it dragging us down during the year and these boys know it’s their last year and they’re going to go out and try and leave that jersey in a good spot.”
Is 2022 the Eels' year❓🤩
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) March 4, 2022
Gutherson went on to explain how he believes Parramatta displayed big signs of improvement towards the end of last season compared to recent years, viewing the way the club finished the regular season as a huge positive.
“That was probably the biggest thing last year. We had that dip and probably in previous years we would just keep in that dip,” Gutherson said.
“But we fought ourselves out of it and we had a good performance against the Cowboys and then we beat Melbourne.
“You need a game like that and afterwards the belief was out of the roof.
“That was probably the most impressive thing out of last year was that we were in that huge hole and we crawled back out of it.”
Parramatta will kick off their 2022 NRL campaign at home next Sunday as they take on the Gold Coast Titans, who made their return to finals football last season and are now looking to build on that achievement.
The Eels on the other hand will most certainly be looking to build on an impressive end to last season and win their first premiership since 1986.