Brad Arthur with Nathan Hindmarsh during his stint at Parrammatta in 2012. Photo: COLIN WHELAN
Incoming Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has vowed to get Jarryd Hayne back to his scintillating best as he aims to lift the consecutive wooden spooners into finals contention next year.
Arthur’s coaching fortunes were resurrected in another dramatic Parramatta boardroom meeting on Tuesday night after he looked destined to miss out on the job to Jason Taylor.
Chairman Steve Sharp has long advocated Arthur to take over from Ricky Stuart as coach but he was overruled when the club’s board voted 3-2 against Arthur’s appointment recently. But Sharp canvassed fellow board members in recent days and Fairfax Media understands another vote went 4-2 in Arthur’s favour after director Mario Libertini was absent from the initial ballot. It is understood board member Peter Serrao switched his support to Arthur.
Fearing Arthur may have walked away having lost initial backing, he was contacted before the meeting on Tuesday night while holidaying in Bali with his family and friends, to ask if he was still interested in the position. Arthur was offered a three-year deal on Wednesday morning.
‘‘It’s been long and drawn out,’’ Arthur said. ‘‘Moving forward I want to concentrate on the positives and make Parramatta a force. I want to do it immediately; I’m not waiting for a couple of years. Making the finals will be our goal. We’ll be going in with a winning mentality and thinking we can win every game. We aren’t going there to make up the numbers.’’
Arthur’s first task will be igniting Hayne back to his best form. Hayne was injured when Arthur won two games in his six game stint as caretaker Eels coach last year. Arthur said he hadn’t locked Hayne into a position. ‘‘I have to sit down with Jarryd and find out what he needs from me to play his best footy and what I need from him,’’ Arthur said. ‘‘We’ll come up with a plan for what’s best for the team and for him. He is a talented footballer and he’ll have a great season. I’ll make sure of it.’’
Parramatta’s commitment to appointing a general manager of football cost Taylor the job after negotiations broke down at Tuesday’s board meeting. Chief executive Scott Seward said directors were not willing to compromise on the establishment of a general manager of football role – expected to be filled by NRL referees’ boss Daniel Anderson – and rejected the terms and conditions Taylor was seeking to return to the club as head coach.
‘‘Obviously we were pretty deep in negotiations with Jason but there were some conditions that we went back to the board with that the board weren’t willing to compromise on, and there was a resolution passed to cease negotiations with Jason,’’ Seward told Fairfax Media.
‘‘We are not willing to compromise on the structure we are putting in place for this football club. We believe in what we are putting in place and we believe that is going to deliver success for this club that the members and fans deserve. Unfortunately negotiations with Jason broke down and we just couldn’t agree on the conditions of the contract. From that point, we opened negotiations with Brad and his management team.’’
Arthur has served a long apprenticeship including stints as an assistant to Craig Bellamy, Stephen Kearney and more recently credited for instilling steel into Geoff Toovey’s forwards at Manly. He played lower grades at the Eels and lives in the Parramatta district. ‘‘We aren’t going to look like Manly or Melbourne, we are going to look like Parramatta and play the way I want,’’ he said. ‘‘The players are there because they are good footballers. I just need to harness the talent in the right direction.’’
The lifelong Eels fan plans to talk to wayward halfback Chris Sandow in a bid to revive his career. ‘‘I need to sit down and find out what he wants to get out of the rest of his career and find out what he wants to do,’’ Arthur said.