Newly-minted Eels co-captain Junior Paulo says the mutual respect he has with coach Brad Arthur is "through the roof" and will be looking to repay his coach and teammates for the honour through his actions this year.
Paulo admitted he was initially surprised and said the 'skipper' moniker would take a while to sink in.
"It's something I probably didn't expect myself but with the role I was playing in the team I knew I would be a leader but I didn't expect to get the (C) next to my name," Paulo said.
"Probably more honoured than anything … especially when I'm so passionate about the club, it gives me more of a drive to be better myself and help those around me be better.
"The respect levels are through the roof with Brad. I'm just honoured he sees that in my so hopefully I can be that drive in the team.
"It takes nothing away from what Gutho (fellow co-captain Clint Gutherson) has been doing, it's more special that I get to stand alongside a long-time friend and call ourselves 'skip'. I'm still trying to adjust to that."
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Paulo expected he would be more of a leader through actions than words.
"I'm not big on speaking in front of the boys, it's more the actions I'm doing on the field and especially the way I carry myself away from the footy field as well," he added.
Paulo also admitted to watching last year's heartbreaking 8-6 semi-final loss to Penrith plenty of times in an attempt to banish the demons of another finals exit.
"I probably watched it more than 20 times," Paulo said.
"It does dwell on you but you have to re-live that moment to move on. It took a while to get over but it became a massive learning curve to us in what it takes to win those big games."