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Continuos improvement rather than sweeping changes is incoming Parramatta boss Jim Sarantinos’ edict after taking charge of the Eels.
For the first time in years, a Parramatta chief executive is coming into the job without having to give the club a dramatic makeover.
Sarantinos helped lead the culture change at the Eels first as a board member then as the club’s chief operating officer.
Parramatta has long been a revolving door for club bosses but the club found stability under former chief executive Bernie Gurr and chairman Sean McElduff. This has given Sarantinos the confidence in helping lead a new era at the Eels.
“The club has a really exciting future,” Sarantinos said.
“I’ve been around the club for three and a half years and I think about the situation from where the club was to where it is now, we’ve made a huge amount of progress on and off the field. We have sorted out the front office where we clearly have stability at board level and we have seen very little turnover.
“We are increasing capability in the front office. There has been a clear focus on how we want our football department to operate and our football roster to be constructed.
“Equally, we want to be known as a club that has a strong focus on our members, corporate and community partners and our large fan base across the country.
The 39-year-old spent two decades at Ferrier Hodgson, including seven years as a partner. He joined the Eels board in 2016 when the club underwent a raft of governance reforms.

Sarantinos stood down from the board in June to take on the chief operating officer role at the Eels.
The success of Bankwest Stadium also adds to the club optimism. Next is the club’s $40 million community rugby league facility in Kellyville which will house both the club’s administration and football programs.
“While our facilities have never been an excuse, there is an exciting opportunity for us to come under the one roof,” Sarantinos said.
“That will help us enhance our connectivity across the whole club.
“Over time we will have one of the best rugby league facilities in the world. We will have five training fields which aligns well with our development club philosophy. We will be able to run our NRL, second grade, women’s and junior rep programs all in the one location. It will allow our juniors to be surrounded by the elite athletes they aspire to be.”
The Eels also have stability on the field. They locked down big name players this year, re-signed coach Brad Arthur until 2021 and finished in the top five. There is further optimism with the arrivals of Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Ryan Matterson.
The Eels focus will be on retaining Dylan Brown, Reed Mahoney and Shaun Lane.
“Our roster is developing nicely,” Sarantinos said.
“We have an exciting core of young players that we can build the club around. They are not just good players, they are good people which is just as important in building a team that can deliver sustained success.
“We want to be able to come into each year with a reasonable expectation that we will be competing for a top four position and challenging for a premiership and building on the stability we’ve created will be key to this”


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  • Exciting times until uncle Dennis gets jealous again.

    • What do you mean again ?

      When did he stop being jealous ?


  • Thanks for the latest scoop parralurker all falling into place now all we need now is Tyson frizzel

  • Ahh yes Grunts he will getting ready to TRY and upset the Apple cart 

  • Not a great article overall but one that can provide confidence going forward, some of the stuff he has said, is a repeat of past news especially in regaard to the Kellyville move, (anyone got an address/location for it?).

    Thing that caught my eye and is pleasing is the bit on retaining D Brown, Mahoney & Lane, they are must keeps along with a couple of others, while Nathan Brown has a PO for 2021 he should be upgraded with an extension as well.

    • Yeah it's Kellyville Park Reserve

      • Thanks Brett will look it up on Goolge Earth

        • I just had a google earth search for the park/reserve, very interesting for me as I am familiar with most of the areas there, Old WIndsor Road now a 4 lane highway and used to a dirt 2 lane dirt strip from Toongabbie out to where it joined to Windsor Road.

          The area is huge and more built up than I thought as its been years since going on either of those roads past Sunnyholt Rd anywah.  I was also surprised to see the number of reserves and parks overal in Kellyvile, if the Park is the one on Memorial Drive its very well located between the Two Windsor roads and it becomes Sunnyholt Road once over the Old Windsor Rd. Of note also is the the Western Metro has a station that is parralllel with Old Windsor Rd so its a pretty good spot really.

          When the project was announced and in the media I read where there was a fair amount of public resistance to the development and while that's understandable to many degrees, IMHO, had there not been the number of other parks and reserves in the area then it could have more justifiable in the complaints and anti development aspect of it. However, I also see that it will bring a lot to the area especially for youngsters and others who follow RL and especially the eels.

          Will be something to see when its started and the progress of it, hopefully it will be up and running in full before many years are passed.

          • Colin I must remind you. If you decide to catch the train to take a look at the new facility, I need to remind you that when the train pulls up at the platform to pick you up.

            The first thing you will notice is that it won’t have a train driver.

            • Realise that John, thing is that its been very much agenda driven by Smug Mug, who has openly stated that he wont't be happy until all trains are not just driverless but also no guard on them either.

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