The Cumberland Throw

The Spotlight – Brad Arthur

This is a post inspired by the vindictive words of an egotistical shock-jock. Unfortunately his words have a small chorus of supporters in his corner.

I am both dismayed and disgusted by attacks on Brad Arthur by such media personalities and some members of the Eels fans base.

I understand the emotion. I understand the anger about some of the Eels’ efforts. There’s no denying that the team have been performing poorly over the first six rounds.

Six rounds of losses is way too long and puts the season in jeopardy, but we are talking about a period of only six weeks.

Do we really need to cast our minds back to remember how this man, Brad Arthur, went above and beyond what any coach would have done to hold the Parramatta club together.

He inherited a team that had won consecutive wooden spoons.

Both preceding coaches, Stuart and Kearney, had quit mid contract.

Before that Anderson had been sacked and Hagan had not seen out his contract.

Jason Taylor was a caretaker coach after Brian Smith walked in his final year.

Yet BA came in and immediately made our club competitive in his first year.

Unlike Stuart who prophesized of thrashings and duly delivered, in 2014 BA promised that his team would do their best to win every week.

The following year, Hayne decamped to the NFL and the Parramatta club became a laughing stock for the bungling of the Foran contract. It was left to BA to defend his club’s handling of the deal.

BA at training.

Arthur had his potential premiership winning team of 2016 decimated by the salary cap debacle. Key players departed. Injuries smashed the roster. Again, the self-proclaimed Parra boy was left time after time to handle the media circus that followed the club that year. Despite all this, the team accrued enough wins that should have seen them qualify for the finals.

And how quickly some have forgotten 2017.

Yes, it was only last year that he reassembled a roster to finish fourth and deliver Eels fans with their first trip to finals football since 2009.

Now, suddenly, after six games in 2018 he can’t coach?

He needs to be sacked?

And worst of all he’s been called ridiculous names by anonymous trolls.

Unquestionably mistakes have been made thus far in 2018 and Arthur will need to right the Parramatta ship. I’ll be disillusioned if there are no changes to this week’s team, because we need change. Ultimately Arthur is accountable, but history tells us that he’s never shied away from a tough job.

Anyone joining a chorus for his sacking needs to consider what sort of club you want to support, what sort of character they want the Parramatta club to have.

They need to consider the man who held the club together when others had walked away.

I’m not suggesting that this ties him to the job for life.

But I’m damned sure it entitles him to not have to deal with disrespectful calls for his dismissal after six games. And Ray Hadley…. I’m pointing my finger directly at you. Your words were the inspiration for this post.

I’m as frustrated, as angry, about such a poor start to the season as any Eels fan. But Brad Arthur has earned my respect and my support for a period that will easily exceed a number of weeks.

Our site has been slammed for being supporters of Arthur. We are first and foremost supporters of the Eels. But we believe in what BA’s done and what he, Steve Murphy and Joey Grima will do for our club.

There’s nothing to be gained by turning on our own when the chips are down.

I truly hope that I’m voicing the thoughts of thousands of other Eels fans.

Eels forever!

Sixties

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Insignificant big mouth know all . Hidden agendas in everything he says or does , smart people have got his number .

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

60’s well said and while I see your pain and feel your hurt like all of us should do, I too feel it, and your words here And worst of all he’s been called ridiculous names by anonymous trolls. Are spot on. I made a call on the other site by saying that much of what has been said borders on defamation and I stand by that. Fans, yes as I put elsewhere, not supporters in any shape or form. They could not set out to sea in fair weather as they would terribly sea sick and turn around 100… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

Been a long time sence I listened to motor mouth Hadley. I listen to laws mr hello world …. What I don’t get with Hadley is why he continues to hammer us eels with every chance he gets. Why can’t he move on like his old pal Dennis Fitzgerald … They don’t own or run the club in any shape of form. Do we have an answer for our poor form …no Did we see this coming in the offseason … No Will the club get out of this situation this week ….no But there is 1 thing I know… Read more »

Matthew Sweeney
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Matthew Sweeney

Agree

More than a fEELing
Guest
More than a fEELing

In the end of the day it’s a results driven business. I think everyone accepts BA is a really good bloke, he loves the Eels and has a real passion for footy, but at the end of the day if he can’t get us winning footy matches then he needs to go, no two ways about it. Like I said, really likable guy but that doesn’t mean he’s cut out to be our long term first grade coach. Everything I’ve seen so far suggests that he just isn’t the right guy to deliver us a premiership. We need to look… Read more »

Michael Formosa
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Michael Formosa

I’m a massive fan of BA but lots of questions need to be asked about what’s going on and I really want to know what happened to his coaching team he had last season. There seems to be a few of his staff that have left and not been replaced. We lost our defensive/forwards coach (who is now at the Panthers and look at them) and now both our defence and forwards are completely busted. As well as another assisted coach gone and our attack is pathetic. Now is this BA call or is Burrie making cut backs to the… Read more »

Jack
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Jack

Seems like you’ve got your finger on the Palse there mate. Our defensive coach is at the panthers huh. Interesting.

Parra Pete, Thurgoona
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Parra Pete, Thurgoona

Well said sixties. I feel your pain, and I admire the confidence you have in Brad Arthur as coach. I have that confidence too.
Can’t believe the lack of faith people have in the Club. I often wonder if they worry more about them losing – or if they are worried about being ‘teased’ by supporters of other Clubs. Are supporters of the Cowboys happy that Paul Green has been signed up for another three seasons? The Cowboys – pre-season favourites – have won just one more game than the Eels!!!!
Stick with it Brad….

Matthew Sweeney
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Matthew Sweeney

Well said and I would give him all of next year to turn it around.

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

I heard motor mouth Hadley running his mouth today. Saying brad’s lost the dressing room n how the players are not listening. How on earth ppl think anything that guy has to say is MAD. Funny that sixties when the eels are winning Hadley n all those so called (loyal) fans are talking about how good the players n coach is yet when we lose they like to really kick us when we are down. I like you am 100% behind brad n the whole club. All it will take is a little bit of down time away from footy.… Read more »

Unicorn
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Unicorn

Ever dawn on you that BA just isn’t good enough?

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

Unicorn you can’t take a team to the top 4 spot one yr then suddenly be badge next just doesn’t happen.

#Eels4life#

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

Well said brother sixties I could have said it better. Stick solid ppl stop his back stabbing n name calling…

Rowdy
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Rowdy

Great defense of a man (BA) who has, as you assert, proved himself an excellent coach most recently to get us to top 4 last season and a wonderful man manager to steer the Parra ship through the turmoil he inherited in 2014 to 2016 having turned dual wooden spooners into a competitive footy team that we could all be proud to call our own! I have stated my opinion of whom I would reckon should come into the team. I have not suggested individuals who should be dropped to make way for them though. That’s Brad’s dilemma, he gets… Read more »

Peter Johnson
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Peter Johnson

I am a long time Parra supporter (over 50 years) and I agree that what BA has done with the Eels has been fantastic and I admire him as a coach. After what he has done in 2016 and 2017 it is ridiculous to suggest after 6 games he be sacked by dickheads with their own agendas. That journalist is obviously the bitch of a previous CEO.
Thanks very much 60s for your honest and forthright words. Keep it up.

Lady Eel
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Lady Eel

There is no way anyone would consider Ray Hadley anything but driving an agenda when it comes to matters concerning Parramatta. Our coach deserves our loyalty and support, something a lot of our supporters seem unable to grasp. We joke in our family that you are pre destined by birth to follow Parra, no matter where you are now in the country. Mum’s brother came over from Parra Rugby to Parra League in ’47. God I’m sounding old, but the point I am making is that there will be ups and downs and we must trust the people hired to… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Lady Eel, my dad was the same and he was fighting before 47 with the push to get the eels into the comp. Been an eel from birth as it was in March 1947

Anonymous
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Anonymous

From one Peter Johnson to another … well said! I am also an Eels supporter of around 55 years so both of us have seen a few terrific years and a lot of ordinary years. Brad Arthur held the club together in the turbulence of the Board fiasco and deserves our continued support. He is a masterful coach with a strong moral and ethical base.

Emtee
Guest
Emtee

Well said. You guys would know better than most if BA had lost the dressing shed. This reeks of a Fitzgerald agenda, considering the club’s administration was mentioned by Hadley as well. Until the former administrators are incapable of white anting the club, I’m afraid this will keep happening, hence why Donnelly is still here, and will be here until constitutional reform happens. Every former administrator played their own part in putting us into the mess of 2016, now for the sake of the club, they need to leave it alone. If they cared about the club more than their… Read more »

Sam
Guest
Sam

Brad has my support, I’ve seen some good and not so good or committed coaches at Parra in my 25 years or so of fanship.

BA has everything we’ve always wanted in a coach and up until now almost all the answers too.

I have a little less faith in some of the players and their commitment to the cause. But to sack BA now off of 6 losses after all we’ve been through would be a massive mistake.

Anyone who says differently either has an agenda or doesn’t understand the game quite enough.

Shelley
Member

So we should sack a coach because a team has lost 6 games early in the season? Sometimes the best way to squash an argument driven by agenda and revenge is with facts, indisputable facts not hearsay or according to whispers. So Mr Hadley here it is. In 1981 your great friend, Mr Fitzgerald hired Jack Gibson- a wonderful coach indeed and to his great credit a wonderful choice ( I give credit where it is due) by Mr Fitzgerald. But unlike Ray Hadley, Mr Fitzgerald showed some football smarts and could see the long term aim. Between rounds 4-12… Read more »

Rowdy
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Rowdy

I approve of the veracity of your comments in general Shelley, but I absolutely loved the final paragraph!

Grunta.
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Grunta.

So what do you reckon now, Shelley?

The Captain
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The Captain

I’m not even going to justify Hadley’s comments with a response because it’s simply and very transparently agenda driven muck. One thing I will say is that, for better or worse, sports coaching is a results driven industry. The results of your past will determine your legacy, but the results of the present dictate your worth. Seasons past are seasons past, and BA will rightly be remembered as the stalwart who brought us through our darkest days with passion and pride. But this season, the one right now, many passionate and pride filled Parra fans are struggling to reconcile how… Read more »

Glenn
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Glenn

My simple reason as to why we are poor now compared to last year is a simple one, all the teams below us greatly improved their rosters, and we didn’t. Imo we went backwards by a long way and I believe it is one player, Semi, that we miss most. BA under-estimated his loss and over-estimated our forward pack. I didn’t. I thought if we made the 8 we’d over-achieve. BA had to greatly strengthen our forwards to cover his loss and didn’t and unfortunately our results now show how badly BA misjudged our roster.

Rowdy
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Rowdy

Not as badly as you’ve undermined any credibility your opinion may have had prior to this rubbish comment Glenn!

Joe
Guest

Fair enough the club has certainly had some better results under brad but for mine we haven’t done enough in building a roster that can sustain winning consistently and improving every year.
I see there are many experienced players that are coming off contract and it seems that the generation that had success in previous years cannot continue, understanding a player’s peak period is between 24- 28.

Yes it is only 6 weeks but statistics show no team has made the finals after losing the first six. Now we can only look forward to 2019.

Fathead
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Fathead

I didn’t realise OFarrell had left. I suppose we didn’t replace him? Hmm. I know we are cutting costs but there are certain coaches you need to retain. Didn’t Bernie say that the sole purpose of the leagues club is to ensure the success of the league side? Perhaps Bernie Max and the board are more responsible for the failures this year than Brad? Either way, I honestly believe this year to be completely bust and Bernie, Brad and Co realise it and are planning for next year by finally getting the finances in order, ending the careers of some… Read more »

Chickeel
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Chickeel

Anyone calling for BA to go must have an agenda, a bad memory or began following only this season! His leadership through the hell of the salary cap fiasco and to the top 8 was nothing short of miraculous and he was a hero. Now after a 6 week slump some would have him lost to the club and players who have had him as their saviour during those difficult times. I am so disappointed that a man who has shown such passion and determination to get the result he did with those men last year is being berated and… Read more »

Rowdy
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Rowdy

Spoken like a true fan and with the most motherly loyalty it almost brought sincere tears to each of my blue and gold eyes. Well said Chickeel, very well said!

Chris
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Chris

Coaches get too much credit when their team wins and too much abuse when their team loses. The same players could play last year against the same opposition. It is up to them to turn it around.

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

Take 2 …lol Been a long time sence I listened to motor mouth Hadley. I listen to laws mr hello world …. What I don’t get with Hadley is why he continues to hammer us eels with every chance he gets. Why can’t he move on like his old pal Dennis Fitzgerald … They don’t own or run the club in any shape of form. Do we have an answer for our poor form …no Did we see this coming in the offseason … No Will the club get out of this situation this week ….no But there is 1… Read more »

Trouser Eel
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Trouser Eel

I trust BA. I don’t trust Hadley.

Can’t see that changing anytime soon.

West Coast Eel
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West Coast Eel

We can’t keep sacking coaches like the previous board. It will take us years to recover. Can you imagine if the old board was still in charge, I’m pretty sure they would’ve sacked BA by now and Hadley would be sticking the boot into our club about that. It’s clear that unless hi pal Fitzy is in charge of the club, he’ll always have a dig at us. On Brad Arthur, I’ve heard all the rumours and I’m hoping they’re just rubbish. I haven’t been on Twitter for 2 weeks, sure we’re losing, but the overreaction by some fans is… Read more »

Ashleigh
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Ashleigh

Best piece of writing you’ve written. Love your support of our Eels and our coach. I hope Ray reads this and is disgraced by himself. Jerk.

Milo
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Milo

Well said Sixties; the shock jocks are just that. Nothing to add

Lyle
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Lyle

I’d like to hear the sixties thoughts tho on one trial and our new coaching staff and why the boys aren’t fit? Were they trained to hard in the off season and are playing tired or the new regime hasn’t worked?

Lyle
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Lyle

And also great read loved it especially about that germ that shall not be named!!

Chris
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Chris

I have questioned their fitness from the first game, however this one trial stuff is a myth.

For the last few years we have had two trials but the first team hasn’t played in both. The Alice springs trial was basically for Wenty. Have a look at the team that was always fielded. The likely first grade team for the round one game has only ever played the final trial a fortnight from the first game. Fact.

Lyle
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Lyle

True but we usally had one trial where we played our round 1 team usally against Penrith! Right? And then we play our stars for 45-50 mins against newcastle

Chris
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Chris

I have been to both those trials against Penrith and the stars played for between 50-60 minutes.

Again, I have questioned their fitness, their physiques and general size but it isn’t because of not playing a few extra minutes at a trial. I am no expert on their fitness regime either, it is just looking for answers.

Sammy
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Sammy

Great Article. Most clubs would be lucky to have a coach like BA. So we support him when he brings the place together, and turn on him in a time of adversity?? That’s not true support. He has earned the right to ride through this time. There is no question about that. As for Hadley, he should concentrate on keeping his own house in order before commenting ignorantly on someone else’s.

Glenn
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Glenn

I’ve not called for BAs head, not yet anyway, and consider he should see out his contract until end 2019. However he is the architect of our present malaise. From poor defence, poor attack and poor roster recruitment BA’s finger prints are all over it. As such he has to bear the blame. From now on what he does to fix all the above will be a measure of his credentials as a coach. What I’m most interested in is his recruitment for next year. If Paulo is coming back that is a good start but not the end. BA… Read more »

Offside
Guest
Offside

Sorry sixties i disagree BA has been here 5 years and has recruited and assembled the team he wants and they have been shown to be not up to it hes remained Loyal to under performing players and rightly should be put under the microscope. Yes 16 and 17 were very good but lets put it into perspective we finished 4th but a few results the other way and we miss the 8 all together. I believe based on information from people i know at the club i have that he has lost sections of the team. With that there… Read more »

Rowdy
Guest
Rowdy

Offside, I can commiserate with your feelings but must stand with Sixties regarding BA having lost the shed. Apart from the innuendo, there is no evidence to support that notion. Losing and being “a loser” are two completely different animals.

The men that currently make this club from Max Donnelly to #30 in our roster, including the entire coaching staff are not losers! If you were privy to what they are saying to insiders and among themselves you would be proud of their grit and encouraged by their own disappointment.

Offside
Guest
Offside

Well ive heard from people within the sqyad ill rephrase not lost tge dressing room but he is on the verge players are doubting him. This us a fact has that ment hes list them no. If things continue he will.

I’ll stand by this.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Second time around for comment, after a nights rest and visit to doctors. First off, re some comments about AGM’s. I have been to a few over the years more especially when the emperor was in charge, mostly especially the latter years any dissent caused uproar and challenges to your being a true eels supporter. Reason I stopped going until the year of Capone in 2010. Wasn’ that a great meeting, when I raised the point of our history and was put down by some of the minders there, we don’t want anything of our past and the like, we… Read more »

Longfin Eel
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Longfin Eel

After 6 weeks, nothing is going to change until a change is made. The question is, do we have the players who can step up and make that change? With Wenty performing poorly also, that leaves very few players to choose from. Maybe a spell for some in Wenty will do them some good?

Big Derek
Guest
Big Derek

Heard Hardley this morning , said he wouldn’t back down on this comments as he heard it from someone who knew a player and then told someone that spoke to him, sounds genuine . He is just like a jealous spurned lover, needs to get a life and stop white anting the club. If he was a true believer on teams losing the plot, Why hasn’t there been a comment on the Cowboys with a rep roster losing their last 5 games, then extending their coach for another 5 years, agenda much ? There’s even a usual suspect suggesting that… Read more »

Chris
Admin

I dropped off 2GB two years ago for my footy radio fix. MMM is much better, particularly the Sunday show, as long as you can get past Paul Kent….

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

We hear many comments from disgruntled supporters and from idiot journos about the Eels situation, and I, much like you all am disappointed and frustrated about the start to this season. To answer your final comment of “I truly hope that I’m voicing the thoughts of thousands of other Eels fans.” – in my case, yes you are. This is a man who single handedly (is that a word?) rebuilt this decimated club from within, and now with the support of Burnie Gurr and his management team will continue to rebuild. A swallow does not make a summer (I think… Read more »

Jetta
Guest
Jetta

I think a lot of the criticism about BA has been about his team selections rather than coaching ability. He seems too loyal to some of the older players. Even you Sixties would surely agree that BA has overestimated a number of our players, especially some of the forwards. And this is why other fans have been blowing up about junior retention because we have no one to come through who can replace out of form players such as Scott who clearly has played one year too many.

Offside
Guest
Offside

Honest question Sixties at what point would u right BA off say if we get the spoon or is your belief unwavering?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

You most certainly are voicing my thoughts. I too am disgusted that BA has become the scapegoat. Jarryd Hayne has also copped the blame. I am disappointed that whilst we have vowed to MOVE FORWARD with the club as soon as we hit a depressing and seemingly hopeless form slump we automatically GO BACK to our old habits…. blaming one player and the coach.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I agree with most parts, but where does the buck stop? This is not only a football team with passionate supporters, but it’s also a brand and a big business. If like any other business model, if it doesn’t work you need to restructure the business plan and the appropriate changes need to be made to ensure not only the fianacial future but also the club culture which in my opinion is now shot. I firmly believe that the purchase of Jarryd Hayne was a massive error in judgement as he only cares and thinks of himself as no longer… Read more »

Rowdy
Guest
Rowdy

That’s a bunch of really ignorant things to say anymouse. I enjoy your comments at times because they tend to be entertaining when I cajole myself into viewing them in that light. But mate you surely aren’t paying any attention to the facts that emerge from the astute footy heads or the insiders on this site. Mate, there are people on this site who actually know what IS going on in the sheds and among the staff and playing group. Pay attention my friend.

Big Pete
Guest
Big Pete

Well written and supporting of our great coach. However he now has to act and as the team announcement makes us all aware there has been some change and we have other offers out there to improve our ability to WIN

Paul Munro
Guest
Paul Munro

Well said Hadley a Fitzgerald puppet worh a massive agenda!

Parra4ever
Guest
Parra4ever

BA has shown his weakness in recruitment. Zero and six is not a coincidence. He deserves some criticism.

The rev aka Snedden
Guest
The rev aka Snedden

Parra4ever BA is getting it in bucket loads his copping it from everyone media, talk back , 100% league , footy show n coach’s corner. I think his copping his fair share. I’m waiting for us to go on a winning run n ppl start talking us up n totally forget about this 6 game losing streak.

#Eels4life#

Parra4ever
Guest
Parra4ever

Yes I agree rev. In a competitive envrionment it’s to be expected. Just hoping BA will learn from this mistake in the future, he is too loyal to his players.

Rowdy
Guest
Rowdy

Dear Parra4whenthingsaregoingwell, What measure do you use to assert that BA has made any mistakes yet? There are errors made in life about how we go about things or concerning how long we pursue a particular course of action. That does not necessarily constitute a mistake.

One thing is sure though. Loyalty is not a mistake!

John Eel
Guest
John Eel

LOL. Well said

John Eel
Guest
John Eel

BA has given us four and a bit years of unwavering service. He has taken us thru one of the most turbulent periods of our clubs recent history. Other coaches would have walked away as some in the past have done. Any attempt to remove him from his position before his contract ends after the service he has given the club would be a massive miscarriage of justice. I also have massive faith in Bernie to support BA in these times. I believe that the squad overachieved last year and that was due to the great effort of the coaching… Read more »

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Well put John and agree totally.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Well put

Rowdy
Guest
Rowdy

Anonymous, you remind me of the old Big Dipper at Luna Park. Great High points and low, low points but always entertaining.

John Eel
Guest
John Eel

I think there is more than one anonymous. Clarity required

Watson
Guest
Watson

We have all seen this before. Think 2009 when Parra was written off mid season and came back strongly. I am not saying this is what will happen but, watching the games from afar tells me there is a problem within the team. They are missing some key players with injuries and this does hurt. It seems to me the halves are not functioning like they did last year. The attack is misfiring and they seemed to be starved of possession which will always shut down a team. They need to respect the ball better and cut out the useless… Read more »

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Good post Watson, your association with Holmes is evident here. 2009, doesn’t that bring memories and the hullabuloo the media and the moves against the emperor, the promise of a great future, gee, let me outa here trying to look at that time again and what happened afterwards. The run of wins then many seem to forget, likely for convenience sake especially as they board the good cruise shop Agenda. A change will take place and I believe it may come from something simple with the scoring of the first try, or a hard legal tackle that gives the eels… Read more »

Rowdy
Guest
Rowdy

Any Brad?

Rowdy
Guest
Rowdy

But seriously Holmes, you’ve certainly made some valid points. Good post mate. I’ll give you a thumbs up there my friend.

Gerard
Guest
Gerard

Perfectly said, unfortunately clowns who have their own destabilising agendas will always be clowns. Hadley and Fitzgerald will not win!

Hadley thinks Fitzy will fix everything, does he not realise Fitzgerald was in charge for about 30 years. All 4 of our premiership came in his first 9 years. During his remaining tenure of 21 years we won NOTHING. Think about it for 2/3 of his leadership he failed.

Craig Lewis
Guest
Craig Lewis

Nailed it Sixties. Thank you for such an eloquent post that exactly echos my sentiments too…because whenever I discuss grubs like Hadley, it’s inevitably accompanied by multiple expletives. I’m with Team Brad! For what he’s done for our club the last few years I feel we supporters owe him. I’ve supported this club for over 40 years. That doesn’t make me special, or better than any other supporter. It just means I have history. And I’ve seen a lot worse than what’s happening at the moment. And I know, and surely most supporters should be able to also see, that… Read more »

Adam
Guest
Adam

Thank you for the post 60s. It’s about time we started behaving like responsible adults. Sure I’m disappointed at the results but I will never betray the club, players or the coach by posting vile comments that are completely disrespectful. We’re all passionate about the Eels and we want results, especially a premiership. But to be disrespectful and in some cases downright mean is disgraceful. I’m an Eel and proud to be one. But more importantly I’m father who believes in being a positive example for my kids, which means that even when things are going poorly or up the… Read more »

Ken
Guest
Ken

I’ve been a supporter since 1962, seen more losses than wins, seen good coaches nd bad. BA is one of the best, if not the best after Jack Gibson. Hadley has acheived nothing on the footy field and is a rwnj. Stick to one sided politics Ray and leave league to the experts.