Having taken his club from wooden spoon battlers to competition leaders, Brad Arthur is poised to become the longest-serving coach in Parramatta’s 73-year history.

Arthur could soon become the first Parramatta coach since the club’s premiership entry in 1947 to be in charge for a full 10 seasons – pipping Brian Smith, who was axed after nine-and-a-half seasons.

An early favourite for Dally M coach of the year, Arthur remains under contract until the end of next year with Parramatta officials seeking to renegotiate an extension.

Arthur will have completed eight years at Parramatta after next season with an anticipated new two-year deal – it could even be three – making him a decade Eel.

Smith fell just short of the 10-year milestone when he was sacked midway through 2006 for Jason Taylor.

Arthur (163 games) should also overtake Smith (243) with a new deal.

While formal talks are yet to start, Parramatta officials are “relaxed” about Arthur re-signing. His coaching stocks have risen to another level this year with Parramatta losing just one of the opening nine matches.

And with his Eels sitting on top of the NRL competition table, rival clubs may be tempted to have look at Arthur’s contract situation.

Arthur’s success is vindication for a Parramatta board who stuck solid when under pressure to dump their coach during the wooden spoon days of 2018.

There was even an online petition calling for Arthur to be removed and Wayne Bennett signed.

Parramatta has been coached by some of the biggest names in rugby league history, including Smith, Jack Gibson, John Monie, Vic Hey, Terry Fearnley, Mick Cronin, Ron Hilditch, Ken Kearney, Jack Rayner, Michael Hagan, Ian Walsh, Dave Bolton, Daniel Anderson, Ken Thornett, Norm Provan, Brian Hambly, Ron Lynch, John Peard and Ricky Stuart.


 “We are keen for Brad to stay and we are confident he will stay,” Eels chief executive Jim Sarantinos said.

“I think Brad wants to be at the club and, to be perfectly honest, we’re comfortable he’s not going anywhere.

“It will get sorted when the time is right for everyone.

“He’s happy, we’re happy and he sees that the club is going in the right direction and I am pretty sure he is happy to stay and we’re happy for him to stay. I think everyone is pretty relaxed about it, to be honest.

“I’m sure we will go about our business quietly and work things out. That (contract talks) will come in due course, I would imagine. There’s no agitation or anxiety from anyone.

“It’s nice to be able to go about your business quietly without worrying too much about that kind of stuff. I think Brad is a Parramatta guy. He loves the club, he wants to be successful at this club and that means a lot. We want Brad to be successful at this club.”

Arthur started as Parramatta head coach in 2014 but was interim Eels coach for six games in 2012 when Steve Kearney was dumped.

After several modest seasons, Arthur has built a potential premiership-winning side through shrewd recruitment and retention. Victory over Manly at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night will finally give Arthur a 50 per cent win rate – 82 wins, 82 losses.

“Brad has done a terrific job in turning around the performances of the team,” Sarantinos said. “He has played a big role in really creating a close-knit unit among the players. I don’t think you can undersell the impact and influence he has had there.

“A lot of people have put in a lot of hard work over the last few years – including Brad - to get to a position where we have that opportunity for success.”

This season’s success has arrived after Parramatta reached week two of last year’s finals after a historic 58-0 week win over Brisbane in week one at Bankwest Stadium.


1. Brian Smith – 243 (1997-2006)

2. Brad Arthur – 154 (2012, 2014-current)

3. John Monie – 149 (1984-1989)

4. Vic Hey – 108 (1948-1953)

5. Terry Fearnley –101 (1976-1979)

6. Mick Cronin – 88 (1990-1993)

7. Jack Gibson – 84 (1981-1983)

8. Ron Hilditch – 65 (1994-1996)

9. Ken Kearney – 59 (1962-1964)

10. Jack Rayner – 54 (1958-1960)

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    • Spot on EE.

    • Borring 

  • He would need to royally fuck up not to. He is safe this year and we will have a near identical roster next year so the pieces are in place to get the 10 seasons under his belt.

  • Fair dinkum, nothing but a bush coach.

    Should never have been signed and is the sole reason we haven't won a flag for 34 years.

    I reckon we should go for Shane Flanagan. He's not a dodgey, slimey, dishonest idiot...really he's not.

  • When the club signed BA for the 2014 season they new that he was not an experienced NRL coach. Did he make mistakes of course he did. Did he learn from the mistakes absolutely.

    BA held the club together in its darkest hour following the 2016 salary cap scandal. He toiled under the weight of an incompetent board 

    When the new board conducted an independent review following the 2018 disaster season the results showed that he was under resourced and needed help. He was given a short extension in an attempt to show he was the right man for the job 

    So far he is living up to the expectations of the board.

    • John, I would say that he has exceeded their expectations, how much? early days but I see him & the team improving going forward.

  • I'm pretty sure that a win this weekend gives BA a career winning percentag of exactly 50%

    The bloke is made of solid charachter, and whilst many people bag him out for not being a brilliant tactition (which I think is very unfair) you simply have to look at the number of players who have come into the team and how they have improved under his coaching (and that of his assistants it has to be said)

    Gutherson - unwanted at manly now a legitimate leader and top 3-4 fullbacks in the NRL

    Sivo - unwanted at Penrith now an improving good winger

    M Jennings - unwanted at Roosters, in career best form

    Blake - unwanted at Penrith now finding his feet and playing well

    Fergo - unanted at Roosters, real solid player and leader

    Moses - unwanted at Tigers (everyone felt Brooks was the one to keep) now a rising halfback and Brooks has been dropped

    D Brown - rising young player flourishing under BA and the entire coaching set up

    RCG - unwanted at Penrith now in career best form

    Reed - flourishing in our set up rising young star

    Junior - back from Raiders and in career best form playing with endurance skill and power

    Matterson - leader, skill and great player

    Lane - unwanted at manly now a solid versatile and dangerous edge forward

    N Brown - in career best form and producing stats only bettered by J T at the cowboys

    BA is a man's man, and the players trust him, respect him, and buy into what he wants.

    I think of all the coaches yet to win a comp BA is the standout - including Cleary.

    With stability in place and governence reforms won - I can see a great era for the Eels over the next 10-15 years, and BA is only 46 and could coach well into his 60s if he wants.


    GO BA   

    • Funny you should mention Ivan Cleary. Because despite him taking the Warriors to a grand final and having essentially two premiership windows at the Panthers, Arthur has a better win percentage than him.

      • In fact Cleary has about 100 games more experience and his record overall is a losing one.

        I think Barrett moving on to the dogs will be an unsettling force at the Pathers this season which will only benefit us.

  • The turn around in the Eels since the start of 2019 is incredible. They've gone from easybeats to, currently, the hardest team to beat in the competition. They've played every side in the top six apart from Melbourne and only lost to the Roosters.

    An interesting stat here is that at the end of 2018, BA's win percentage sat around 45% for his career. A win tomorrow night will put him at an even 50%. That's how quickly he's managed to right the ship.

    There's every chance that by the end of the season his winning percentage will sit in the mid-50s, placing him alongside Brian Smith, Ken Kearney and John Monie (John Peard and Jason Taylor excluded due to low number of matches) and behind only Terry Fearnley and Jack Gibson.

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BENNY replied to Poppa's discussion BA should get a 20 year extension
"Just read your comments. Agree. Well said. "
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BENNY replied to Poppa's discussion BA should get a 20 year extension
"I may be a buffoon. In fact I use that one myself so all good. Hilarious? Sadly no, you are another apologist for BA  
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BENNY replied to Poppa's discussion BA should get a 20 year extension
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Pauly Pauly replied to Poppa's discussion BA should get a 20 year extension
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