The Eels' head coaching thriller began in secret closed door meetings, less than 24 hours after Jason Demetriou's offical sacking from Souths on April 30th. It has been a Hitchcock masterpiece. Suspense. Mystery. Inneundo. And the blonde damsel in distress yet to be revealed.

Most of the mainstream media has been riding the highly-touted Jason Ryles and Josh Hannay bandwagon. The next hot, young, hot things, apprentice "head coaches in waiting" - ever since Bennett was officially lost to Souths on May 21st.

It also follows a recent value-added trends of the likes of Ciraldo, Benji Marshall, Webster, and Payton et al with mixed results.

Slowly, the jigsaw puzzle is revealing itself.

One of those pieces is Brian McDermott.

He barely got a mention in the mainstream media outside the likes of Gus Gould who suggested him.and only him, and who warned us about going the rookie path.

Very few outside some on our site, the likes of Gus, the Knights fraternity and cluey onlookers saw his immense value in the NRL world.

After making some inquires with some sources, unfortunately, Gus was right - he was too far a left-field choice and won't be our head coach.

Like many of us, he felt he could have done a great job for the Eels as the most successful Super League coach in history to date with unparalleled life experience as a British Royal Marine, a pro boxer, and a test-match Bradford 250-gamer. He has a burning passion for head coaching in the NRL and had belief he could have turned us around.

The fact he upended his roots to Australia and even helped the Knights to a fourth-ranked defence last year their best in NRL history and helped build more resilience - an area we baldly falter in for decades - is another sad testament to this.

Given a chance with the right club who respects and values him, he will make a damn good NRL head coach and a winning club.

Sadly, for now, our club is not that club. We lost a winner without ever really knowing what we could have had in our hand. 

The temptation of two, young hot Aussies is too much to resist. But which one?


Cheika and Demetriou are also out

Michael Cheika is also out of the running. Apologies Poppa. 

Earlier today, Brent Read told MMM's in  Ready's Mail that he spoke with Cheika yesterday who told him he did not make it through to the next round of interviews.

"No, he's (Cheika) not going to the Eels," Read told MMM.

"I think he's pretty dissappointed about it. I spoke to him late yesterday about being in the mix for the Parramatta job."

"The fact is he applied and made the shortlist of six for that position."

"He found out late last week that he hadn't made the final cut."

"On that front, it's a straight shoot out between Josh Hannay and Jason Ryles."

"Josh Hannay is obviously in Origin camp, so they can't really do anything with him for another couple of weeks."

"Certainly with Jason Ryles they can begin those second round of interviews."

"I think we'll have a decision after they speak to Josh Hannay in a couple of weeks."


Eels' club had concerns about Chieka's capacity to handle the day-to-day of NRL coaching

"He (Cheika) is dissappointed this didn't progress, but they basically said to him, as I understand it, that they were worried about his capacity to handle the day to day drama of an NRL coach," Read added.

"I mean this is a guy who coached in France, thirty-five games a year, and over there you have got to deal with pretty mad French owners and billionaires who are quite flighty. So, I think he was dissppointed that Parramatta felt that way".

"I did ask Mick ... He is committed to being an NRL coach.He wants to be an NRL coach at some point down the track." 

"And now it's a shootout between Josh Hannay and Jason Ryles."



It's bamboozling.

Why would a rookie apprentice handle the day to day dramas of head coaching better than seasoned coaches with over four decades of top-tier head coaching experience between them? 


And we are prepared to wait for Hannay and respect his origin commitments. But for Madge? It does hint at what the underlying ideology was all along.


Earlier in the week, Jason Demetriou, told the MMM's Monday Scrum (at 37:30 - 39:00) that he was informed last week that he did not make it through to the next round of interviews.

"No, I'm not in the next stage. They've let me know, which is great and I appreciate the opportunity," Demetriou said.

"But it was good to get the adrenaline going again and sit in front of the guys there."

"They've got some great candidates, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that progresses."

When asked by Brent Read who was in the next stage, Demetriou was upfront shooting straight.

"I have no idea. I didn't ask. And I don't want to know."

Demetriou was also asked about the interview process and what was discussed there.


The Interview Process

"It wasn't powerpoint, it was informal with Sean the chairman, Jim the CEO, and Buckets, Mark O'Neill who's the GM of football," Demetriou told MMM.

"I just spoke for a couple of hours about your journey and how you got to this point and all that sort of stuff, and their vision for the club."

"And their next phase was to shorten that down again. And the few that are selected will go on to do some sort of presentation was my undestanding."

"It was pretty clear they were looking to get on with it and make a decision pretty soon."


What's Old Is New Again

Just like the box-office smash hit Barbie World. Two Hot, Young Things.

Eleven years ago we also offered a rookie assistant coach who also had been "involved with winning cultures" an opportunity by the name of Bradley Arthur. And not too long before him there was another highly-touted head-coach-in-waiting from the Melbourne School. Stephen Kearney. 

We've gone full circle, in feared of bolder left field choice.

But will we get different results from the last few decades where resilience without the ball is not our forte, more a razzle dazzle with the ball in Offloading City?

Over the next 12-36 months, when the bulk of our top half of the squad and most highly paid are approaching mid 30s we'll find out if this was worth it. Or whether it feeds arid vultures and hyenas  like Hooper even more.

Potentially, for all the optics and all the excuses, after Bennett was lost, it was probably always going to be the rookies. For the Media. For The Court of Public Opinion. For the most popular trend. For the apparent Modern Ideolodgy, gone full circle. And for our Club.

We went from the most reputable NRL coach to the most reputable heach coaches in waiting. Hot reputations. Hot shows.



There has been no confirmation on the status of Justin Holbrook or Trent Barrett, hitherto, but you would assume they're long odds. 

A plot twist?



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          • LOL, good one Chiefy, your developing a sense of humour, that's a good sign your heading for puberty but please leave my anus alone.....something has to live there.....

  • Wondering why McDermott seems to have not even been considered?  These pencil pushers and O'Neill might not really know what they are doing. Sad for the fans. But hoping that these 3 stooges will be lucky and pick the right coach that will transform the Eels current culture

  • The successful coaches like Bellamy and Bennett stand apart because of their man management skills. It's been said that Bennett pretty much stands back and lets his assistants do all the training. But what he has is that ability on when to give someone a kick up arse, or give them a cuddle. Be it publicly or privately. That is the magic of Wayne, and the reason that the roster at Souths soon fell apart when he left. JD could coach but he didn't have those man management skills, and lost the dressing room as a result.

    Do these rookies have those life skills to man manage? Or even the age or authority to get that respect of the players? I did see the Wade Graham interview recently posted, and Hannay does appear to have good footy knowledge. But does he have those man management skills? Does Ryles? All the heavy lifting in this regard for him was done by either Trent Robinson or Bellyache.

    This is why I believe McDermott is the best available option to us right now. It's folly to go any other way. But the board will live or die by their decisions.

  • Head coach - Josh Hannay

    Assistant coach - Brian McDermott 


    • Didn't McDermott just re sign with newy 

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