It was a long search and one that kept members waiting but it has finally come, with the Parramatta Eels announcing Brad Arthur as their new head coach for the next three years.
Having enjoyed a season at the Manly Sea Eagles as their assistant coach, Arthur is no stranger to the Eels organisation, having been an assistant under Stephen Kearney a couple of years ago, before taking over the reins at the end of the 2012 season.
Before that, he was a coach under Craig Bellamy at the Melbourne Storm and for Arthur, who is a Parramatta local, he is pleased to have the opportunity to coach the Eels once more.
â€œTo return as a Head Coach in an area and a club where I played football as a young man is extremely humbling and very exciting,â€ Arthur said.
â€œI have full confidence in the playing roster for next year, as well as the people at the Parramatta Eels to get this club moving in the right direction.”
With the appointment of Arthur, it marks a new era for the club, one that new CEO Scott Seward looks forward to being a part of and witnessing.
â€œThis has been a thorough process and both myself and the PNRL Board are incredibly satisfied with this result,â€ Seward said.
â€œBrad Arthur has served a wonderful apprenticeship under the likes of Craig Bellamy and Geoff Toovey and we are confident that he is the right man to take us forward.â€
For the Eels and CEO Scott Seward, they believe that Brad Arthur will be a great fit as Eels coach.
“Brad’s obviously been an assistant at Manly and look at the success that they’ve had,” said Seward.
“He’s been assistant here before, at Melbourne and he has plenty of attributes across the board, so I think he’ll do a tremendous job for us.
With initial reports suggesting that Jason Taylor was the front-runner – a move some fans were in favour of – ultimately, it was a breakdown in terms between Taylor and the Eels that saw Arthur get the job.
“We were certainly deep in negotiations with Jason and unfortunately we couldn’t agree to terms and conditions, so Brad’s the man and he’s the head coach of the Eels next year,” said Seward.
“We didn’t get there with board negotiations and board resolutions last night and we picked up negotiations with Brad today, and we got the job done really quickly.”
With the call for a General Manager of Football to be introduced, the Eels plan to do just that and Seward says that plan has not changed.
“The structure hasn’t changed,” said Seward.
“The structure is that we’ve got a General Manager of Football, we’ll have a head coach and those guys will work hard together and will start to deliver some long-term success to this place.”
“No-one’s on top of each other and they’ll work together. They’ll both report to me as a CEO, they’ll have a great relationship and they’ll build this football club back up to where it needs to be.”
With reports suggesting that the players preference was Brad Arthur, as some players have been coached under him both as an assistant and head coach, Seward said the response from players has been encouraging and positive.
“There’s been a very positive reaction today [from the players],” said Seward.
“We’ve had calls today from the players, so they’re very supportive of the decision we’ve made and eager to back into it and start 2014.”