Anderson: Juniors are the soul of the Eels

Despite only being in the job for a few minutes, Parramatta Eels' new General Manager, Football Operations Daniel Anderson says he can already tell he's part of exciting times ahead.


Anderson joins the club after 12 months as the NRL Referees Elite Performance Manager, and decades of experience in rugby league coaching, administration and management.


"I'm seriously looking forward to it; I can sense there's a bubble of passion here in the few people I've met, and it's a new job and something I'm very excited about," Anderson said.


"I know from living and growing up in the area - and still living in the area now - how important the rugby league culture is to the community, and I want to see it rising again."


Stepping into a newly created role that will involve facilitating pathways for player development and recruitment, Anderson says he's optimistic our already strong junior base will continue to improve.


"The soul of any club is in the local juniors, I've learned that over a long time in rugby league," he said.


"You'll always have people who come from outside the club and they will add value - but if they stay long they become immersed in the fabric and culture of the club."


"And it's the local juniors and people who have grown up in the community - like [Head Coach] Brad Arthur - who have that soul, and it's infectious."


Despite having not previously worked with Brad Arthur, Anderson is excited about the enthusiasm both bring to the job.


"It'll be a bit of a blank canvas for both of us as far as a relationship goes - he'll bring plenty of passion and real commitment," he said.


"We're both similar in that we have an obligation to the Parramatta club to foster and enhance rugby league so our community is proud of us."


Daniel says he's positive the club will become a competitive powerhouse again, with quality players from the top NRL side, down to the junior league.


"I'm aware, as we all are, of the talented NRL players; the likes of the local juniors Jarryd Hayne and Tim Mannah, and some very good signings for next year in Lee Mossop and Will Hopoate, among others, but that will be Brad's job," he said.


"I'll be looking at the next wave - the Kelepi Tanginoas, the Junior Paulos, who as of last week played in the Junior Kangaroos side for the first time."


"[We don't want] these players to be 20-game first grade participants, but we want 100, 200-gamers and that comes with hard work ahead."