Clint Gutherson, Tim Mannah want to call Parramatta home


“That’s for Sammy and for Mark and for the rest of the club to sort out.

“I just have to keep playing footy and it will sort itself out sooner, rather than later.”

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There are rival clubs circling the off-contract fullback should Parramatta not table a deal Gutherson deems satisfactory.

The priority for the Cromer Kingfishers product is a long-term deal, though he admits balancing loyalty for the club which gave him his chance to shine and the big bucks on offer elsewhere presents quite the predicament.

“It’s pretty hard, I think in any job it’s pretty hard,” Gutherson said.

“That’s what the managers, what Mark and the team are here for – to try and sort that out.

“It plays a part but you just have to sit down and have a long think about it.

“Loyalty is very important to me, so that will play a major factor.”

Loyalty may as well be Tim Mannah’s middle name.

He is part of the furniture at Parramatta, having played his first game for the men in blue and gold 10 years ago.

The 31-year-old is also off-contract at the end of this season and while it pains the veteran prop to entertain the thought of playing anywhere else, he will do so should the Eels decline to offer him an extension.

“I would rather not [think about leaving] but it’s a possibility, if I have to,” Mannah said.

“Ideally this would be my first, second, third and fourth choice but I am also willing to look elsewhere.

“I have been playing footy long enough to realise that it is a business as well.

“As much as I love the fairytale stories, I have seen boys move on and do things that I probably wouldn’t have preferred to do.

“I’m not going to limit myself to one club if that’s the only option.”

Gutherson and Mannah aren’t the only Eels off-contract at the end of this season.

Eight of the club’s top squad – including Brad Takairangi, Mitchell Moses and Daniel Alvaro – will also decide whether Parramatta is their club of choice in 2020 in the coming months.

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“I think we have done a good job of blocking it out so far,” Mannah said.

“It has brought us all together.

“A big chunk of our players are off [contract] and the one way we can make it easy for ourselves is to win games.

“If you win games, chances are you are going to have a good chance of playing together as well.”

Saturday night’s clash with the Sharks – the Johnny Mannah Cup in memory of his late brother – is particularly special for Mannah.

“We are always forever grateful to both Parra and the Sharks for giving us the opportunity to celebrate Johnny’s life,” he said.

Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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