June 24, 2024

They have the longest premiership drought in the competition.

One of the coaches under the most pressure entering the season, Brad Arthur, is set to change his approach after an abysmal 2023 season saw the Parramatta Eels miss out on the finals.

Brad Arthur reaches Eels coaching record | Eels

Heading into last season, expectations were high for the Eels after making the Grand Final the previous year.

However, injuries, suspensions, and inconsistent form would derail their season as they failed to make the top eight and attempt to break the longest premiership drought in the NRL.

Due to this, the 49-year-old coach has decided to shift his emphasis and adopt a fresh strategy this off-season in an effort to help the team succeed.

Shaun Lane said Wide World of Sports, “I think he has understood more so than ever the importance of being unified as a team and working together towards the same goal.”

“I am aware that he has been working hard on himself as well. Our leadership is the foundation of everything, and he has done a fantastic job of refining himself throughout the off-season and determining what he needs to do better for us.

Our pre-season training regimen seems to be bringing it out; it feels like the best program I’ve ever participated in. For the most part, it’s been fun, even if you get flogged every day.

“I’ve been really impressed with Brad in this off-season and I’m confident in what he’s been feeding to us.”

Arthur has been coaching the Eels for the past ten years and has overseen more than 250 NRL games, but he has not yet helped the team win a Grand Final—an accomplishment that distinguishes outstanding coaches from mediocre ones.

Josh Hodgson, Waqa Blake, Andrew Davey, and Jack Murchie are the four players from last season that have left the team. Although they have added Morgan Harper and Kelma Tuilagi, they aren’t big additions that will significantly alter the team, so they will field a lineup that is similar to that from the previous campaign.

Arthur won’t be the only one under pressure this season as he is forced to watch the finals from the stands. As the pressure increases on the latter two, star players Mitchell Moses, Dylan Brown, and Clinton Gutherson will need to rise to the occasion.

While Brown has had erratic play throughout his career, there were rumors last season that Gutherson wasn’t the X-factor the team required. Gutherson, who was supposedly cut from the team at one point during the previous campaign, talked about Arthur’s shift in priorities.

Like all of us, he’s simply become more determined, Gutherson said.

“You should always try to participate in the big events and give yourself a chance to win, rather than just watching them on TV.

“Brad is no different—every year he leads from the front with even greater zeal and enthusiasm. When things go wrong, he’s the first to raise his hand.

“The boys have bought into what he is trying to push this year … it’s a great feeling at the club right now.”

On Saturday, March 9, the Parramatta Eels will kick off their 2024 campaign against the Canterbury Bulldogs, their rivals.

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