Club Statement: Eels appoint General Manager of Football
The Parramatta National Rugby League Club Pty Limited (Parramatta Eels) announced today the appointment of Mark O'Neill as General Manager of Football. Mark's appointment follows an extensive recruitment process and Mark will commence this role on 1 November 2018.
Mark has an excellent background in Rugby League, having played 221 NRL games for Balmain and the West Tigers and was a member of the Tigers' premiership winning team of 2005. Since retiring from rugby league, Mark has had over 10 years' experience in sports administration, including senior executive roles and general management. He has held key roles at the NRL as GM of Football Compliance and at the West Tigers as GM of Football.
In recognition of the increasing complexities of managing an elite sporting environment, the Parramatta Eels Club identified a requirement to appoint a GM of Football with significant leadership and management expertise
. Reporting to the Parramatta Eels Club CEO, Bernie Gurr, Mark will implement the overall football strategy with responsibilities across performance management, salary reviews and staff contracting. Mark will oversee all aspects of the Football Department including Recruitment, Junior Representative Program, High Performance Unit, Parramatta Junior League, Player Wellbeing and Education, football operations and training facilities.
Parramatta Eels CEO Bernie Gurr said that, after an extensive recruitment process which included over 80 applications, O'Neill emerged as an outstanding candidate and will play an important role in leading the Eels Football Department for the Club.
"It is essential that we have a strong and experienced leader who will be at the forefront of developing and driving our football strategy so that we can have a first class, high performance Football Department, with the goal of delivering sustainable success for our Members and fans," Bernie said.
"Mark has over 20 years of elite NRL experience and, importantly, has worked at senior executive level in sports administration for over 10 years. Since his initial time with the NRL and West Tigers, Mark has been engaged by the Men of League Foundation to help on a range of strategic and operational objectives and the NRL to actively contribute towards achieving a best practice player safety policy related to potential head injuries during NRL matches. Additionally, he is near completion of his MBA studies which has been undertaken whilst fulfilling fulltime work commitments.
"These achievements demonstrate the respect Mark has within the sports industry, along with the range of experience and expertise that he can bring to our Club and our football program. Mark will be working very closely with our Head Coach, Brad Arthur."
Mark said he was thrilled about the opportunity of joining the Parramatta Eels Club: "I'm honoured to have been offered this role with the Eels. The Parramatta Eels are a Club with tremendous history, with a passionate supporter base. I'm looking forward to understanding the heritage and personally aligning with the Eels values to continuously improve and help establish a sustained period of success," said Mark. Bernie also stated that the GM of Football will be responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Football Department review that has recently been completed.
"The Board has recently completed its response to the Football Department review and the Club will be releasing the findings to our Members and fans early next week.
"The recommendations cover a wide range of different areas within our football program and Mark will be responsible for implementing these important changes over the short to long term."