Smith family coast to watch Parramatta Eels

St Clair's Smith family will take their love of the Parramatta Eels to a new level after being randomly selected by the club for an all expenses paid trip to the Gold Coast to watch the Eels take on the Titans in round 21.

The Eels selected a random member for the prize to celebrate breaking their second consecutive membership record.

The blue and gold currently have 20436 members, overtaking the previous highest tally reached last year (20312).

Eels prop Danny Wicks and squad member Tui Kamikamica surprised the family with the prize at the Eels headquarters yesterday.

The prize includes flights, accommodation and tickets to the game.

For the Smith family, it's a chance to watch their beloved Eels play interstate for the first time after being regulars at games in NSW.

Despite living deep in the heart of Panthers territory, parents Nick and Lisa and their children Kaitlen, 11, Eliza, 8, Nikki, 7 and Dean, 5 are all die-hard Eels fans.

“I’m shocked; I can’t believe it. It’s so exciting,’’ Lisa said when being told of the prize.

“We got to every game we can. I’ve been an Eels supporter all my life.

"My pop was a member and I was his first grandchild, and we would listen to games and go to the games. I’m definitely an Eel for life.’’

Lisa said there was no better feeling than being a member and knowing "you're part of the team".

“Being a member is a great way to guarantee your seats and throw your support behind the team,” she said.

“The Eels are apart of us. Our girls were cheerleaders last year and our son has got no.9 for his junior league jersey because he loves Nathan Peats."

Lisa said despite the slow start, she is confident the blue and gold can turn their fortunes around in the second half of the season.

One thing the Eels can count on is that it has one of the best supporter bases in the NRL.

“The roar when you’re at Pirtek Stadium is unbelievable. Win, lose or draw we will be at every game,” Nick said.

Parramatta Eels chief executive Scott Seward said the members are part of the ''Eels family''.

“It’s fantastic to see the support from the blue and gold army grow so rapidly year on year and is testament to the hard work of our membership team behind the scenes,” he said.

“Our members are very much part of the Eels family and in our opinion, the best in the NRL, and I want to thank all of them for their commitment to making our club bigger and better.”

Full-season Membership are still available, with prices reduced to reflect the 10 home games and reciprocal entry games remaining in the Eels’ 2015 season.



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