1Eyed Eel

Parramatta Eels Supporters Website


Not many of us like the Storm. After 2009 we have every right to despise what they did and demand that the premiership be rightfully ours.

But since then it's undeniable that the Storm are the benchmark for bringing through a constant stream of new talent that just simply delivers week in and week out. I personally know of one young guy who went through this so this story is completely legit.

Do you think Parra is putting potential new recruits through the same rigour?

Someone suggested that its not BA's job to find new recruits but as this story goes to prove, not one player enters the Storm without Bellamy's direct involvement and approval. Not one! That's not merely some final meeting but Bellamy is involved all the way along.

It's also important to note that this isn't about attracting big names to the club. This is about identifying young talent from anywhere around the country and getting them into the club's system to debut years later. And that's done purely with a  view of building the NRL side. Not as gap fillers for QLD Cup or other lower grade endeavours. It's always for the ultimate benefit of the NRL side. 

INSIDE Melbourne’s rigorous recruitment program and the interesting test every player must pass.


It goes beyond being a good player.

Personality plays just as big a role and Melbourne are meticulous in their research when it comes to signing a player.

Whether you’re a teen still at school or veteran of eight seasons, the process is the same.

A one size fits all method which has been responsible for the sustained success of Craig Bellamy’s NRL side.

It’s dubbed the ‘coffee test’. That of course, is if you make it that far.

“It’s pretty comprehensive the process that we go through,” Storm recruitment boss Paul Bunn told the Market Watch podcast.

“From the identification of the player through to physical specs, their skillset relevant to their position, can they play that position and what are their attributes that make them a good player in that position? Their character. We do a lot of character testing.

“In fact, it doesn’t matter what age a kid or player we’re bringing into the club, unless they sit down with Craig (Bellamy) and Frankie Ponissi, they don’t enter the club.”

They all go through it.

From newest recruit Sam Kasiano to Cameron Munster, Curtis Scott and the fullback earmarked as a potential successor for Billy Slater, Ryan Papenhuyzen.

But just because you make it to the coffee stage of the process, doesn’t mean you’ll receive an offer.

“We’re all on the same page,” Bunn said.

“We did pick up a lad once from the airport and by the time we checked him into the hotel and ready to go and meet Frank and Craig, I turned to one of my colleagues and said ‘I don’t even want to take this kid to the meeting, he’s not going to get through their coffee test’.

“And he didn’t.”

The work done before a potential signing can even meet with the Storm brains trust is intense.

Not only does Bunn and his team crunch the numbers and analyse vision but they also pull out their detective hats.

From Facebook searches to interviewing teachers or in the case of potential NRL recruits, rival NRL training staff on occasion.

“We look at passion for the game,” Bunn explained.

“Level of resilience, things like are they humble? Will they fit into the Storm team environment?

“What’s their football intelligence like, their general intelligence. It goes on and on.

“If you’re looking for younger ones, you just don’t have that projection for what that talent’s going to be. You can have a massive budget and still not get players through to the top.”

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The eels pick jnr sides to win jnr comps, that's why we fail.

This!!!!. 100% agree. Exactly my point.

I think after so many junior titles between us, Penrith and Newcastle it's clear that this strategy is out of date.

What a load of dribble.....if this is the case then how the fcuk did Brett Finch pass any tests??

Must have been Irish Coffee.

Not to mention George rose

or Munster not to mention some of the zombie kiwi forwards they have had.....this is beautiful rhetoric Muttman and you should know better falling for it.

Ba has gone 3 off seasons without debuting one single development player.

His last debutant was French who was chased by umpteen clubs and was always destined for the NRL no matter which club he had chosen, and that was in 2016.

Since then it's zero for Arthur who has the best junior system in Australia and the opportunity to pick and choose from other clubs and states.

For mine it's very close to the final nail in Arthur's coffin because without a foundation of development players debuting or at least given a chance, Parramatta will need a decade to recover from this situation.

No club has one a premiership with Arthur's old heads buying policy

Why don't you tell us again Chief......we did not hear you the other 154 times.

Your agenda is finally coming through, I hope it bites you on the arse eventually.

Interesting whoever the coach would have been after the pickle of losing the 12 points etc what quality of coach we would have got and where would they be now.

Coaching Parramatta is not what you call a sort after position in the NRL.....we could have had Taylor and the only ones outside of Bennett and Bellamy would be no one I would want anyway.

Have a look at the coaches Parra has had in the last 30 years, all you blokes talk about Brian Smith, I wouldn't pi s s on him.

Chiefy already made the point on TCT as well. Word gets around!

Axel tell me more about what’s happening behind the scenes.

Axel welcome aboard, whats doing behind the scenes you mentioned earlier?

I've been around a lot longer than you Fongy!


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