The Cumberland Throw

The Tip Sheet – Episode 3: Steve Murphy, Parramatta Eels Assistant & Backs Coach


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Part three of TCT’s pioneering exploration into the make up of the Parramatta Eels is here and this time we sit down with Steve Murphy. Murphy is one of two Assistant Coaches to Brad Arthur andΒ his responsibilities also encompass the dynamic array of backs at the Eels (catch Episode 2 where we speak with Peter Gentle, Assistant Coach & Forwards Coach).

As with Joey Grima and Peter Gentle before him, Murphy shines a rarely seen light into the operations of a rising NRL club. From the sensational edge transition of Michael Jennings to the rapid fire acclimatisation of Mitchell Moses and to just what exactly he does on game day – Murphy happily covers everything we throw at him and then some.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Steve (and Peter) for taking time out of their preparation for the Week 1 Final against the Melbourne Storm to speak with us. To say it was a pleasure and a privilege is putting it mildly! The team’s almighty effort on Saturday against the nigh-unbackable Storm is reflective of the stellar efforts of all the coaches and support stuff at our club.

Hopefully you all enjoy this chat as much as we did, see you all at ANZ on Saturday when we host the Cowboys!

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37 thoughts on “The Tip Sheet – Episode 3: Steve Murphy, Parramatta Eels Assistant & Backs Coach

  1. Trouser Eel

    Thanks for that guys. Commitment personified is Murph. To leave his family in the Gold Coast and perform the way he does is outstanding and I’m sure that rubs off on the team.

  2. Jack

    Murphy’s energy so evident thoughout the squad. From hearing him speak to watching him warm the boys up before a match, you can see how much of an impact he has on the team. I remember watching him with Norman and and ava’a in Brisbane and how pumped he was and the paise he gave them during the warm up. Murphy Was putting Ava’a under highballs and Normans precise placement of the kick return.

    Looking at the boys smiling during pictures taken training sessions and captains runs is more evedence of the vibe and atmosphere our coaches create for our team.

    For me Murphy a vital bit of the fabric that is the eels. Unreal interview!

    1. sixties

      Well said Jack. Our staff are a vital part of the Eels cultural fabric. Each coach brings something unique and positive to their role. You summed up the energy that Murph provides.
      I can assure you that the players think the world of their coaches. I’m sure that the Eels set up has a good reputation in NRL player circles these days.

  3. Trapped in the 1970's

    A huge shout out to Steve (as with Joe and Peter) for participating in the interviews and providing such a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

    All three have spoken so articulately and with such clarity and in doing so have been able easily dumb down the science involved in the game.

    Fantastic that Steve was so giving of his time at such a busy time and to hear his obvious enthusiasm for his role.

    Hope you have one more interview in the can?

    1. sixties

      Looking to do a few more actually mate. Yes, there is a science to rugby league, but as Murf says, the blokes are older versions of the kids they once were. That mix of hard work, learning and fun is key.

  4. Chika

    Brilliant , another great insight to the machinations of the club and the people responsible for the restoration of our pride in the blue and gold jumper , looking forward to many more installments ,any chance BA , πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  5. Mapik

    He’s a great bloke, was a teacher during my time at St Gregs. Would play touch footy with the boarders most afternoons (and he was a gun – played for Australia in touch footy).

  6. Shelley

    Fantastic once again.

    You can tell by listening and the responses that Steve, Joey and Peter all have different personalities but the things in common are crystal clear; they enjoy the job and working environment, they respect BA, they genuinely care for the players and they desire success and will do what is needed to get it.

    I have immense respect for BA as a coach but he has obviously surrounded himself with good people first and talented/ committed coaches second.

    Cheering for the Eels this weekend of course but overjoyed with how far we have come and the enormous potential we have going forward being led by such outstanding and committed people.

    1. sixties

      Thanks for replying Shelley. Even during the tough times, and there’s been a few, these coaches always appear to be enthusiastic about working with the players – and that must make a difference to the players. What a far cry from that recent past!

  7. Clive

    Another great interview guys. One surprising thing that has come out of these interviews is how each of the assistant coaches has come on board. Most head coaches surround themselves with friends, ex players and mates of mates so the environment is full of yes men. BA appears to have taken advice on guys that are talented with similar views on the game but all with differing skill sets and I think that is really showing through.

    When you combine the NRL team with the season the under 20’s have had so far It’s really easy to be positive about the Eels future.

    1. sixties

      Terrific observation Clive. Although BA looks for consistent messages of culture and purpose throughout his coaching ranks, he wants coaches who bring something to the table in their own right. With the emphasis on growth for the players each year, it wouldn’t make sense if he didn’t want to be open to different opinions himself.

  8. Joe Briffa

    Thanks fellows another great listen. Like you I have spoken to Steve on a few occasions and he is so down to earth, The thing that I didn’t know was that his family is up in Queensland and that must be so hard for all of them, good on you Steve and well done to both of you for the great work please keep it up, Hope to see both of you at Rosehill this evening.

  9. Mitchy

    Great listen fellas, and a superb insight into the club training / and of course the players. It’s often forgotten that assistant coaches give up a lot to move / take on jobs and while we know they would love it; it must be a sacrifice on their families etc. for example Bennett moved here from Brisbane; Bellamy etc. these assistant coaches often get moved on when clubs move coaches on, so they are at times on a hiding to nothing for a few years. Having said that i assume its an amazing and rewarding job when compared to their other ‘jobs’ wherever they were……and tbh working for a league team is just a tad better than dealing with kids in schools….isn’t it?

    1. sixties

      It might just be a better job mate, but I can also imagine that Murf would have approached his teaching job with the same enthusiasm. We’ve really enjoyed conducting the interviews. I’m glad that people have enjoyed listening to them.

  10. Achilles' Eel

    I greet these offerings with vim and vigour as if the late, great Robin Williams in character and uttering in full voice those iconic cinematic words, ‘Good morning Vietnam!’

    That said, it’s wonderful to learn that the club is in such good hands. I can only hope that this change for the better is not thwarted by dark political clouds that still linger in the offing.

  11. Parramatta Tragic

    This series of interviews has been fantastic. They do bring you closer to the team/club. They all seem very personable which normally makes for a happy work environment. Great job. A series that any major sporting show would be proud of. Life was never better than Touch Footy in Parramatta Park every Sunday morning. Thanks for the effort you put in Murph

  12. Colmac

    Uncle Steve is a awesome bloke. Great to talk to and always has time for you. I work with his nephew at Champion Data and Murph has helped us out to no end in how we do our stats. A big thanks to him.

    The numerous times I have met him now and chatted with him, he always has a smile on his face and tells it like it is. Top coach and even a more better bloke.

    Would love to sit down over a few beers and a punt and have a good old chat with him.

  13. Manginina

    Grateful thanks TCT.

    Have thoroughly enjoyed these last 3 interviews as we have been taken inside

    the club. I have wondered how these assistant coaches fit into the club. What

    professional, skilled and thouroughly committed people that Brad has surrounded

    himself with.

    No surprise then at the success Brad has brought to the club.


    Congratulations to all of the team at TCT, for all of your hard work to produce all the high quality content that you do. This interview was a great example of that, you should be proud of what you are doing , delivering to us fans what we love , rather than the negativity and boys club that we don’t need elsewhere.
    Keep up the great work !!!!

  15. Chris

    Gees the job security of assistant coaches isn’t very good is it. Sure, head coaches get chopped all the time but they get good payouts and a good salary while they are in the job. Don’t expect that would happen at the assistant level. Would make it hard on the family with school fees mortgages etc. Goes to show how much these blokes love their footy and working at Parra.

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