Brad Arthur: I've Always Wanted to Coach Parramatta

Brad Arthur knows this week's family holiday to Bali is likely the last break he'll get in awhile.


Having just been appointed the Head Coach at the Parramatta Eels for the next three seasons, Arthur is aware of the mammoth task ahead of him.


But he's ready to rise to the challenge.


"I'm coming to Parramatta because the people who employed me think I can turn the team into a winning, competitive side every week," he said.


"And I wouldn't be taking the job if I wasn't coming there to win. We want to have long term plans and long term success, but at the end of the day it's all about 2014, and come Round One, we need to have the same common goal and that's to win games of football."


Arthur will make his return to the Blue and Gold after a year as Assistant Coach at the Manly Sea Eagles that ended with a narrow Grand Final loss.


"It's like a homecoming, 100 percent," he admits.


"I never had to think about the job, I've always wanted to coach Parramatta."


"The Blue and Gold has been a part of me for a long time; I played all my junior footy in the area, I played Junior Reps, then I played in the lower grades at the club, and then went away and came back as assistant and got six weeks as a coach."


"It's been a lot of hard work but I've thoroughly enjoyed it. And my kids play in the local area for the Rouse Hill Rhinos, so everything about it is a great fit for me."


Arthur has also been described as a "great fit" for the club by CEO Scott Seward, who says the players are looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season training with Brad at the helm.


"We've had a very positive reaction from the players, we've had a number of calls from them already, very supportive of the decision made, and they're eager to get back into it and start 2014," Seward said.


Arthur says that kind of backing from the players is crucial in order to building a successful football team.


"To have the belief and know that they trust me and what I'm about is a good head start, but I've got to work hard to continue to earn that respect and have them believe in me and know what I'm about," he said.


"And likewise I've got to trust what they're about, and value their opinions and beliefs and [find out] what sort of footy team and club they want to be."


After the Eels have 'won' two consecutive wooden spoons, Arthur says the first thing on his agenda is to align the players' attitudes with his.


"Number one - we need to establish as a group what their expectations are of me, what my expectations are of them; and where we want to head and work out how we're going to do that," he said.


"When we start playing, we need to have the same belief that every other team has - in Round One we're on zero points with everyone else, and our aim needs to be to make the top eight."


"And I see no reason why we can't do that. We're not going to win every game, but we need to make sure that that's the commitment and that's the end result we need to achieve."


Looking at the playing roster for 2014, which will include new signings Will Hopoate, Nathan Peats, Justin Hunt and British import Lee Mossop, Arthur is impressed by the emerging talent wearing the Eels jersey.


"The new players all come from different clubs and different systems, and will bring different strengths, different ideas, different training intensities; and then we've got the senior players in Tim [Mannah], Mitch [Allgood], Ben [Smith] and Jarryd [Hayne], who have been there and know what the club's about," Arthur said.


"Then you have the young boys coming through like Semi [Radradra], Peni [Terepo] and Kelepi [Tanginoa]; with the average age of the squad only about 23 years old, the future looks bright!"