There were rumours galore that it had been done, and now it has been confirmed – with the Parramatta Eels football club announcing that former NSW coach Ricky Stuart will be the club’s coach from the 2013 season onwards, for the next 3 years.
With the appointment of Stuart, the Eels will look to rebuild the club where needed, as well as ensuring that the playing roster plays to their potential.
Coming off a series loss with NSW that left Stuart disappointed, the man they call Sticky will look to build a successful culture at the club, that bonds well both on the field and off the field – as well as one that is constantly competitive.
Whilst the colours are not ones that Stuart is necessarily used to, it will not take him long to adjust to the colours, and make the club his own.
“Feels weird. Different colours, but you know me well, and once I adapt to colours, they become my club,” Stuart said.
“Excited about the challenge. Pressure is exciting, but you miss new combinations, & being with players day in & day out.”
Eels CEO Bob Bentley was the one to announce that Stuart would be coach, and was excited about what he can bring to the table as the head coach of the club.
â€œWe are delighted to be able to announce Ricky Stuart as our head coach from next season,â€ said Bentley.
â€œRicky has a proven track record as a coach after a successful career as a player and will be a great fit for the Club.â€
Roy Spagnolo, the club’s Chairman, was also excited about the acquisition of Stuart as coach.
â€œWe are confident he will be a success at the Eels and will ensure our club returns to its position as a premiership force,â€ said Spagnolo.
â€œWe look forward to seeing him in the blue and gold.â€
For Stuart, the key for him, was the challenge that presented itself to rebuild the Eels into a powerhouse in the NRL once more.
â€œImportantly, my appointment also provides ongoing stability for my family, especially as we moved into a new home in Sydney in the past yearâ€.
â€œIt is my goal to deliver to the club, our sponsors and our fans a high level of competiveness and success on the football field. It will be a process that will naturally take time, but letâ€™s not forget that success only comes from hard work and commitment from all those who are involved in the rebuild,â€ he said.
With Eels halfback Chris Sandow commenting earlier on how he would like to work with Stuart, Stuart reciprocated those thoughts, praising the young halfback for his tenacious attitude and form, despite being under constant media pressure.
“Looking forward to working with Chris – getting best out of yourself is hard work. Chris is one tough kid given all the media pressure, but he is still out there!,” Stuart said.
Stuart is yet to make a decision on who will be captain, or who will be a part of his coaching staff, but he will soon announce all that.
“No captain decided, and no coaching staff decided. When I make a decision, I’ll let you know. Not hiding anything,” Stuart said.