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The Tip Sheet – Episode 4: Anthony Field, Parramatta Eels Recruitment and Retention Manager

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After recently taking you deep into the operations of our NRL squad with exhaustive chats with Steve Murphy (Assistant Coach & Backs Coach) and the now departed Peter Gentle (Assistant Coach & Forwards Coach) we now flip the focus onto the Parramatta Juniors system.

2017 has been a hugely successful year for the Eels right across their junior ranks. Starting with our Harold Matthews squad who were pipped in a Grand Final qualifier to our all-conquering SG Ball team who were crowned National Champions right through to our Holden Cup roster who will be contending for the premiership come Sunday. It certainly would not be unfair to call it a landmark year for the Blue & Gold juniors.

What fans may not realise is that all this recent success is the culmination of five long and hard years of tireless work overhauling and improving the systems and pathways leading to the NRL at Parramatta.

One of the men at the heart of this revolution is Anthony Field, the Recruitment & Retention Manager for the Eels. Field sat down with TCT in the lead up to Sunday’s Holden Cup decider to break down his crucial role at the club.

While he obviously can’t divulge any trade secrets, Anthony takes listeners into the rarely seen world of a rugby league scout. From the inexact science of scouting itself to Brad Arthur’s influence on the junior systems at Parramatta and the ‘secret’ behind the success of our Under 20s this year – Anthony Field speaks passionately about his responsibilities at the Eels.

Heck, there might even be an absolute gem of a genesis story for one of Parramatta’s young stars!

As always we can not thank Anthony enough for taking time out of a huge week to sit down and talk with TCT.

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30 thoughts on “The Tip Sheet – Episode 4: Anthony Field, Parramatta Eels Recruitment and Retention Manager

    1. Forty20

      Absolutely mate. Having the opportunity to pick the brain of someone like Anthony is a rare treat and it really is an enlightening football experience. There is so much that goes into the making a footballer that you don’t get to see!

    1. Forty20

      The respect for BA has been one of the (if not THE) recurring themes to emerge from our first four interviews.

      And there is definitely some really cool stuff going on Jack. The 20s team next year is going to be fearsome!

    1. Pou

      That’s one out of the vaults! I recognise four long term first graders from those teams – Elias, Clarke, Potter and Henjak. Goes to show how rare genuine first graders are. These were the best two high school teams of the year and only featured two first graders each.

      It was 1980 though, so plenty of future NSWRL players would’ve already dropped out of school by year 12.

      1. sixties

        David Greene – I’m pretty sure he played NRL for Wests, Easts, Penrith. But you’re right, it’s only a small number from an elite competition. Though in the days prior to sports high schools, the talent was spread a bit more.

  1. Chris

    Great work again guys. Might if missed it but did Anthony talk about the changes to NYC next year and provide his thoughts??

  2. Manginina

    The willingness of the Eels staff to share what goes on in has been terrific. This interview has been an eye opener. Enjoyed it so much. Thanks TCT.

  3. Mitchy

    Superb listen 40 and Sixties; and it highlights to me the thought parra have put into the retention and acquisition process. The story about Bevan was terrific and great knowing he chose us over the other 15 clubs.
    Great work.

  4. Anonymous

    BA had to make sure he had the top performing good enough to keep him in the job long enough to get the real problem fixed, juniors have rabble for years, poorly run and in the hands of clowns, thank god for BA and Fieldsy!!

    1. sixties

      It was important to note that Fieldsy said that he didn’t know how BA had the time to do it. The man lives and breathes Parra. His job is his passion and his knowledge of all players from juniors up is astonishing.

  5. Adam

    Great work guys. The club is showing the professionalism required to become a powerhouse. The signs are there with the on field performance. To cap it off a grand final win today for Burty and the boys will be a good finish for the club as a whole.

  6. Rowdy

    Thanks again fellas, this concept has once again elevated TCT and it’s followers and supporters into a realm of awareness that is quite unique.

    The informative level of these interviews gives the fans a real sense of relationship with key personnel at our club. This appears to be an extension of what BA and the Parramatta front office leadership have clearly stated as their goal for the Parra brand and the footy club.

    In the past our club has had many capable, skillful, diehard Parra people in positions of leadership at various levels. We’ve had good people also. Unfortunately this has not resulted in the success that the fans crave. I believe that was a consequence of the selfish political nature of the process to either gain or keep control of the board. This meant first priority was always about self preservation or self promotion. The planning for the future of the footy team was therefore shortsighted in order to win votes.

    When BA came back to Parra (where his heart is/was) it came from the commitment of another man (whose heart was for this club) and as a result Steve Sharp insisting on BA’s appointment at there threat of standing down was a selfless act and the beginning of our current success.

    I believe the people we now have in our club are the type of people they look for in themselves when choosing who to sign and or pursue, just as many of the coaching staff have said when being interviewed on “the tip sheet” Well done Forty and sixties.

    Well done TCT.

    1. sixties

      Thanks Rowdy – we’re in a fortunate position because these people, this club, values the supporters and values this website as a communicator with fans.
      Fieldsy and BA have done a tremendous job overseeing the junior program. As a Parra junior himself, BA recognises the importance of good talent identification and development. In Fieldsy, he has a colleague with similar values as well as an eye for talent. Throw in the JETS program with Joey and you have an unparalleled system.

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