Whilst the move may upset the apple cart somewhat, one former Eels Coach and assistant is merely doing what he can to stay in the game – with Brad Arthur signing on as an assistant coach at the Manly Sea Eagles.
Arthur will serve under current Manly coach Geoff Toovey, and alongside fellow assistant coach David Penna, also a former Eel.
Arthur, 38, who was the Eels coach for the final 6 games of the 2012 season following the sacking of New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney, said that the the idea of a new challenge excited him.
“I'm really excited to be joining the Manly Sea Eagles. They've been highly successful for the last decade with enormous talent and a tough culture at the club,” Arthur said.
“I can't wait to start working with the playing group and coaching staff and I think my style of coaching complements the brand of footy they play.
“I'm highly appreciative of Geoff and the club for offering me this opportunity to work and learn from them and develop my coaching career.”
Toovey, who took the Sea Eagles deep into the finals series in 2012, says that he can see Arthur fitting into the side as an assistant quite easily.
“Brad has had recent experience at a couple of NRL clubs over the last few years and he brings a great depth of football knowledge and expertise to the club,” Toovey said.
“We had a number of outstanding appli
cants of which we think Brad was best suited to our needs.”
Arthur will commence the role on November 1.
Whilst Arthur is pleased to have a role at the club, he admits that at first, it will be weird, given the rivalry between Manly and his former club, the Eels.
“It will be a weird feeling, the same when we play Melbourne, too, because of the nice competitive rivalry between the clubs,” said Arthur.
“I'm just grateful that Geoff and the Manly club has given me an opportunity. I can further develop my coaching and learn from the senior players.”
With ambitions to become a full-time head coach, Arthur hopes that this role is the springboard for him to do just that.
“I wouldn't have got the job if I didn't have a few things to offer and I see it as a stepping stone into something in a couple of years time, hopefully,” Arthur said.
“I had four years in Melbourne and two years at Parramatta, and I've signed on for two years at Manly.
“At the end of the two years – if I'm ready, the right job is there and someone is willing to give me a go – this is a definite step in the right direction.
“I love it. It's in my blood and I think was born to be a coach”.
With a talented side, Arthur believes that the Sea Eagles are also destined for future premiership success.
“The playing group is all quality – you only need to look at how many international and Origin players they've got. That was a key factor in the decision and will be beneficial for me,” he said.