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Arthur delighted to seal Eels position

New Parramatta coach Brad Arthur believes observing how Geoff Toovey shuts out Manly's boardroom ructions is the perfect preparation for the life in the Eels hot seat.
Arthur delighted to seal Eels position
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Oct 16 AAP - New Parramatta coach Brad Arthur believes observing how Geoff Toovey shuts out Manly's boardroom ructions is the perfect preparation for the life in the Eels hot seat.

Arthur, who is on holiday with his family, was named as Ricky Stuart's successor with the back-to-back NRL wooden spooners on Wednesday following a prolonged saga due to the Parramatta board failing to agree on their man.

Jason Taylor looked like getting the role and agreed a two-year contract in principle, only for chairman Steve Sharp to finally persuade the board Arthur was the right person.

Sharp was left fuming last week when overruled by fellow board members who wanted Taylor, but at a meeting late on Tuesday the decision was finally taken to hire Manly assistant Arthur.

"To be honest I thought the job was gone and I was happy to stay at Manly where I had a good job," Arthur told AAP.

"I'd just put it all behind me and was spending some time with the family.

"But Parramatta rang me late on Tuesday to ask if I was still interested in the job.

"There aren't many NRL head coaching positions that come up so of course I said yes.

"Now I am really excited about the challenge ahead. It's an honour to coach this club."

Manly's boardroom bickering makes the Eels look mild in comparison, with directors constantly at odds and even taking out an Apprehended Personal Violence Order against one another.

Despite it all, the Sea Eagles have been consistently successful on the field as Toovey kept his players fully focused on the NRL.

"Tooves just turned up for work every day with his focus on coaching the team," Arthur said.

"He doesn't let anything bother him. That is what I have to do. I have a job to do and work with my staff and the players and that has to be my priority."

Arthur cultivated his reputation as an outstanding young coach under Craig Bellamy and alongside South Sydney's Michael Maguire at Melbourne.

And he believes having worked for the two most successful NRL clubs of the last decade gives him the perfect grounding to change the Eels' fortunes.

"It helps really going to Manly and seeing how they do things for 12 months," he said.

"They are one of the most successful clubs in the history of the NRL and over the last seven years they and Melbourne have contested six grand finals.

"I've been through both clubs and had the advantage of working with some top coaches and outstanding players."

Arthur said he felt some sympathy for Taylor.

"What I've learned over the last few weeks is not to worry about things you can't control," he said.

"Like Jason has here, I just missed out on the North Queensland job (to Paul Green). But it's worked out for me now."

Arthur is also unfazed at taking over a team that has finished with the wooden spoon for the last two years.

"We need to have the attitude like every other team in the comp on round one as we're all on the same points," he said.

"We need to aspire like everyone else to make the top eight and go out with a winning attitude.

"There are some good players there who can take us forward."




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