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Parramatta AGM Statement & Vision

Parramatta players and management stood as one at last night's annual general meeting to deliver a clear message to its Members .
Parramatta AGM Statement & Vision
by NRL

Parramatta players and management stood as one at last night's annual general meeting to deliver a clear message to its Members ... the Club stands united in fighting its way out of a poor start to 2012, and achieving sustainable long term success.

Eels Chairman Roy Spagnolo, CEO Bob Bentley, Coach Stephen Kearney, Recruitment Manager Peter Nolan and Captain Nathan Hindmarsh addressed the audience at the Parramatta Leagues Club and took questions from the floor.

Bentley confirmed there would be no change to the Eels coaching staff, responding to speculation a coaching director would be hired to assist Stephen Kearney.

"The Board's aim through discussions we've had with Steve was to ascertain whether he felt he had the adequate resources at his disposal and if any extra support was needed," Bentley said.

"As a result of these discussions Steve and the Board are confident we have the right people in place, and there will be no change to our coaching structure.

"What is clear is that we as a Club are united behind Steve and our players to pull us through this difficult period.

"We have a long term vision to build this Club into one that consistently challenges for a top four position each and every year, and while it may be difficult to see at this current point in time, we're confident the structure we have in place will reap dividends."

Kearney was frank when addressing the AGM floor:

"I wanted to begin by saying I'm not here to pretty up something that's not pretty, because the reality is you can't," Kearney said.

"It has been the worst start for this football club in 50 or so years, and frankly some of our performances have been totally unacceptable.

"I make no excuses on our part the facts are we have simply not been good enough.

"I take responsibility for where we are as a team; I also take the responsibility for leading us out of this difficult situation we find ourselves in.

"I have had to make some tough decisions over the last little period and no doubt will have to make some more in the near future, but rest assured every decision I make, I make for the benefit of the team and ultimately the Club."

Recruitment manager Peter Nolan reiterated the Club's focus on developing its junior talent base through the newly established Eels Academy, in the wake of the Club's 2012 Harold Matthews Cup (Under-16s) Premiership win.

"For some reason our Club is linked to every player on market coming off contract, and I can tell you that the vast majority of the names that have been thrown up in the media, even this year, we haven't even talked to," Kearney said.

"We are first and foremost a development Club and the structure we've put in place ensures our best young kids are being developed in a way that they'll be ready to excel at the NRL level for us.

"Everyone knows Parramatta has an outstanding junior talent base but I'm confident we're doing more than ever to consolidate this area when it comes to retaining and developing that talent."

Also highlighted on the night was the Parramatta Leagues Group's $9.3 million profit before football grants, and a bottom line profit of $5.2 million, a figure up 54% on the 2010 profit of $3.3 million.

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