Dear Members of Parramatta Eels:

As announced last week, as a Club we have commenced an important project to best prepare our Football Department to succeed both now and into the future. The process is being led by the Board of Directors of PNRL, with my input and the participation of the Club’s Football Department.

Our aspiration for our Parramatta Eels is to have a high performing Football Department that is consistently achieving great outcomes for everyone involved in our Club - our fans, Players, staff, sponsors and all other stakeholders connected with the Club.

We are determined to ensure that the Football Department has the best possible people, systems and resources to give the Eels the best opportunity to succeed on the field. On-field success is a key driver of our overall Club success.

Consistent with last week’s announcement, we planned to engage an experienced and independent third party to be involved with the project.

After a thorough search and consultation process, PNRL has engaged experienced consultant Shane McCurry to assist with the project. Shane has assisted us to develop a comprehensive approach for conducting the project, which will include speaking to staff and players internally and benchmarking our Football Department against other teams, sports and industries internationally.

Shane has worked in high performance sport, corporate, government and education organisations for two decades. He was directly involved in Elite Sporting Clubs through 15 years involvement in the AFL, initially at North Melbourne Football Club over six years where he held a range of full time positions across the Football Department. Following his time at North Melbourne, Shane was promoted to the AFL and was on the leadership team of the AFL Football Department.

Shane was involved in Essendon Football Club’s most recent Football Department Review in 2015 and is currently engaged to oversee the Culture & Leadership program at Richmond Football Club, the highlight of which included the drought-breaking 2017 AFL Premiership.

In Rugby League, Shane has worked with a number of teams, including the Wests Tigers and the NRL itself over the past four years.

Shane has also worked with International sports including Basketball, American Football and Soccer. His areas of specialty include Organisational Development and Structure, Football Operations, Club Culture, Player Leadership and Staff Development.

Shane will be supported in the project by two experienced practitioners, Greg Brentnall and Rob Kerr.

Greg Brentnall has significant NRL industry experience as a player at State and International level with the Canterbury Bulldogs, and then with the Melbourne Storm as an NRL Assistant Coach and longtime Administrator working in recruitment and talent Pathways.

Rob Kerr has over 30 years’ experience in AFL football, including as a Club GM Football, Club List & Recruiting Manager, AFL Assistant Coach and CEO of the AFL Players’ Association . Rob began his AFL career as a player at North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Sydney Swans. In addition to his sports administration career he has worked as an Organisational Psychologist for a U.S. based consulting firm during which time he consulted in the Australia, the US and throughout Asia.

The scope of the review includes all aspects of our Football Department including:

  • Governance and Leadership
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Player Roster Management & Salary Cap
  • Coaching & Support (NRL, Intrust Super Cup & Junior Representative Program)
  • Parramatta Junior League
  • High Performance
  • Player Wellbeing & Education
  • Medical Support
  • Facilities

It is anticipated that this project will take approximately eight weeks with recommendations to be considered by the Board and Football Department. Once the project is completed we will provide an update to our valued Members, fans and stakeholders.

At our core, we are a Football Club and we are totally committed to supporting our Rugby League programs with the very best resources and practices, and this project is another step in ensuring the Club is successful now and into the future. 

Bernie Gurr

Chief Executive Officer

Parramatta National Rugby League Club Pty Limited