Eels fan chalks one up on staff
IT'S been a great week for Gregg Chalk - and things are only going to get better.
The long-suffering Parramatta Eels fan was thrilled when his team beat arch rivals the Bulldogs to reach the final.
Then the owner of Biloela Screens and Awnings took glee in the Broncos' demise at the hands of the Melbourne Storm on Saturday.
Chalk's two employees, Adam Drochman and Josh Linke, are Brisbane fans.
“I have been ragging them all week,” Chalk said.
He is now looking forward to flying down to Sydney to watch the NRL's biggest game of the year live at ANZ Stadium, as part of Central Telegraph's tipping trip.
“I'm excited to be going down to watch them.
“When they were third last I didn't think they would go anywhere let alone finish in the top eight or win through the finals,” Chalk said.
The long-term fan, who first cheered on the Eels in 1982 during their golden run in the early 1980s, liked watching Peter Sterling and Eric Grothe play.
“There have been lots of ups and downs.
“I've copped some bagging over the years from family and friends.
“They've not turned up over the last few years,” Chalk said.
This year, he is hoping, will be different with the Eels on a massive roll.
His current favourite Eel is Nathan Hindmarsh.
Eels fans are coming out of the woodwork in the Callide and Dawson valleys.
Moura man Avan “Radar” Warby has every reason to go for the blue and gold - it is in his blood.
Radar is the cousin of Chalk's favourite player, Hindmarsh, and his uncle played reserve grade for Parramatta, where he grew up.
“I've been a fan since I was four years old when my uncle played for them.
“At the age of eight I was a sand boy for (Eels legend) Mick Cronin,” he boasted.
Radar said he had met Hindmarsh at family reunions but doesn't know him well.
“I thought he was a great player before I knew I was related to him,” he said.
“Even though I moved up here (Queensland) I have stayed true to my colours.”
He will watch the big game at the Coal and Cattle Hotel, where he works.
Wowan woman Sheila Dowrick has been an Eels fan longer than both Chalk and Radar - 47 years.
“Of course they're going to win,” she said.
“My husband, Lyal, is a Broncos supporter, and I was afraid they would win last weekend, and make it an Eels/Broncos grand final. If that was the case, my life wouldn't be worth living if the Broncos won, and even less worth living if the Eels won - luckily, although he's tipping the Storm on principal, he's not that passionate about it, so when the Eels win, peace will still reign supreme in our household!”