The Cumberland Throw

The Tip Sheet – Episode 1: Joey Grima, Parramatta Eels Skills Coach

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Sixties and Forty20 had the pleasure of recently sitting down to talk all things footy with Parramatta Eels Skills Coach, Joey Grima. In a broad and wide-ranging chat, Grima speaks candidly to TCT on his career path as a coach – from starting in the District Representatives program at Parramatta to coaching the London Broncos and now working under Brad Arthur.


As the Skills Coach for the Eels, Joey Grima works with both full-time contracted players in relation to their skill acquisition while also liaising with the coaches of the various junior programs at Parramatta to create continuity from the youngest representative squads right through to the NRL.


Grima provides a rare insight into the behind-the-scenes operation of a NRL club and the coaching philosophy that is now entrenched at the Eels under the guidance of Brad Arthur. It all makes for a fascinating listen and we can not thank Joey Grima enough for taking the time to sit down and speak so frankly with The Cumberland Throw!

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37 thoughts on “The Tip Sheet – Episode 1: Joey Grima, Parramatta Eels Skills Coach

  1. Jack

    That was awesome….. fantastic insight into our football club! Truely enjoyed that. Sounds like a lovely bloke. 25+ years in the game and seeing our club thoughout that period into the position of strength it’s in now is wonderful to hear first hand.

    The mantras, the drive and growth of our club is evendent as we will finally give ourselves a shot at finals footy. Credit to Ba, Burnie, staff and players.

    Go eels!

    1. sixties

      Joey is brilliant with his skills coaching and a top bloke. Conducting the interview was a great insight for us, so we’re glad to be able to share it.

  2. Matt

    Great interview guys. Really enjoyed getting some insight from Joey. He seems like a great bloke. It’s so good to hear and see the way the clubs going with BA and Bernie in charge along with the other assistant coaches and staff. Be great to get an interview with murph or Pete on day

  3. Anonymous

    Quality interview of a quality man who is helping build a quality club ,tct also fits the quality accolade , well done !!

  4. Trouser Eel

    As a fan, I assume a lot about how coaching is done. Listening to someone that’s directly involved with it was an eye (ear?) opening experience.

    A great interview, bringing insight to the fans. Thanks for all your efforts.

  5. benny

    Great interview guys.
    Would love to know through his experience coaching and developing and keeping a close eye on our juniors over the past 2 years – Harold Matthews cup , SG Ball and u20s. Who he thinks coming through now excites him. Whether its through there development, training ethic, Who he thinks are some of the standouts 16yo – 17yo – 18yo – 19yo coming through

  6. benny

    It is no secret we have some outstanding kids coming through. But with Joey expertise as we know not al of he will make it to the NRL. Who does he think at present has the qualities, Skills, Technic, Application to make it.

    16yo -Tyler Field, Sam Hughes, David Hollis, Jed Edwards ect

    17yo – Stefano Utoikamanu, William Kei, Kyle Schneider, Dylan Brown, Jp Norah

    18yo – Tui – Noel Akafoloau – Ethan Parry, Jesse Cronin, Filia Utoikamanu, Oregan Kafusi,
    Haze Dunster, John Fonua, Joe Tipari

    1. sixties

      Thanks for the reply Benny. You’re right about the talent. We are just as excited as you probably are about the wealth of talent coming through. It’s a fine list you’ve compiled, so I can see you know your stuff about the junior reps.
      For these young ones, one of the aspects about their development that any mentor would be careful about would be publicly overburdening them with their own praise or expectations of them as individuals. We were careful to not go there with questioning about standouts in the current crop, basically because they’ve only excelled at junior level. We certainly acknowledge their achievements, because you can’t ask for more than winning titles or making state or national teams. But the step from there to having an NRL career is a huge one.
      Likewise, although Joey is enthusiastic about their promise as a group, I’m pretty sure that he would have been reluctant to answer such a question in this forum.

      1. benny

        Thanks Sixtiesboy. Totally understand where you are coming from. I guess my question will be answered in the next 4-5 years.

        Some quality names I have compiled. I personally think we have some of the best juniors coming though and a lot of them as well. Its very rare to have the amount of great kids coming through at the same time, I just hopewe can hold on to most of them.

        Exciting times a head.

        Thank u guys for all the info on this site. Allways a great read/ Go parra

        1. sixties

          Thanks again Benny. The tough thing to get our heads around will be that there are so many talented players that some will play against us. The positive is being in the best possible position to keep as many as we can. And the skill sets we are developing in them will benefit the club, long term. Also many of these young blokes and their families are also quality people.

  7. Kramerica

    Great interview 60’s. Fascinating stuff.
    Mate, you’re the Parkinson of footy interviews.
    Looking forward to the next one 🙂

    1. sixties

      Thanks mate. Fortunately Forty and I keep our faces away from any cameras. Joey is certainly the talent in this interview. He’s a quality bloke and indicative of the people guiding our club.

  8. Shelley

    Wonderful insight. Great to see the club has plans in place to finally use the wonderful junior base we have wisely. Obviously we have a raft of very good and committed coaches throughout the club. It will be good to watch the young ones progress and the top grade can only inspire them if they continue to improve, particularly playing skilful footy like they do.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this, very much appreciated.

    1. sixties

      Appreciate your feedback as usual Shelley. Just like all of our readers, we are Parra fans and we enjoy talking footy and talking Parra.
      We get the best out of young players when we provide them with the best coaching. That’s what BA is aiming to do, from the juniors up.

  9. Manginina

    Thanks sixties and forty. Loved listening to it. How insightful. Captivating. So proud to be an Eel and so fortunate to have TCT.

    1. sixties

      Thanks mate, appreciate that. Aren’t we lucky to have staff who are passionate about their jobs, passionate about the club and generous with fans.

  10. Jimmy Corbo

    Outstanding Lads, to get a behind the scenes peek on how the team functions is brilliant.

    Thank you

  11. Achilles' Eel

    Interviews of this nature are invaluable. Of course most of us would like to know more but understand the need for discretion. Keep up the good work TCT.

  12. Joe Briffa

    Well you and Forty have done it again, I hated it when you finished. I have had the privilege of talking to Joey on several occasions and a nicer bloke you wouldn’t meet. Well done fellows see you soon.How easy is he to talk too. Thanks again

  13. Lewie

    Tremendous stuff TCT, more of it please. The accessibility and transparency of this club is a standout feature and polar opposite to the rubbish served up by their predecessors. Great to have guys on the ground such as yourself who can tap in to it.

    1. sixties

      Thanks for the feedback mate. This stuff wouldn’t happen without the OK of the club and importantly without the footy department being comfortable in doing so. We are very appreciative of that.

  14. Rowdy

    Sixties and Forty, great interview. You guys are rightly getting the plaudits for the concept of “The Tip Sheet”, the content and substance of the interview was very professionally structured with the desired responses drawn out with Joey clearly at ease to elaborate. So much insight into HOW a professional football club operates at all levels.

    I would like to give a bit of feedback on certain characteristics of the leadership standards that point to WHY we are now a successful footy club. Point #1 Joey said, Brad insists on telling all the boys/players the “Truth”. Honesty is paramount in building strong, lasting relationships that produce loyalty and a desire to belong. The other issue expressed by Joey
    was his commitment to his family and church activities which is a humble way of saying he is a giver rather than a taker. To me this goes a long way towards the “WHAT” type of person Joey is and his words all carried selfless praise of BA and Bernie Gurr.

    I also see many young men in the club bringing the same conviction to these eternal values that give rise to the joy and the grit developing in our footy teams.

    I feel privileged and honoured to be part of this club as a lifelong fan.
    Great work fellas! Go Parra!

    1. sixties

      Brilliant Rowdy!
      Joey is a very generous man – giving his time to others is a characteristic that he is renowned for. And being honest with the players – only respect and improved performance can come from that. It’s not just a good personality trait, it’s intelligent coaching.

  15. Trapped in the 1970's

    Well done Sixties & Forty, I finally got to listen to the interview and enjoyed it that much that I listened twice.

    So pleased to hear about the emphasis on the junior programs and progressing the elite through to NRL level. I’m sure that I’m like most supporters and revel in seeing juniors make their way through the grades into the firsts. That really does help bond a club and its supporter base.

    He also touched on the difference it makes with having a functioning front office and it is has been an amazing progression when we think back to the basket case that it was 12 months ago.

    Also, interesting that Joey mentioned that BA was driving the bus in the right direction and it seems that plenty want to board it like the young man that took Cleary’s invitation to step off the West Tigers version!

    Keep up the good work.

    1. sixties

      Cheers mate. That development of juniors, especially ones who have played in competition winning teams that have found success through hard work, really does engender loyalty, the desire to achieve and a positive culture.

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