By STEVE MASCORD
PARRAMATTA chief executive Bob Bentley has defended the decision to release coach Brad Arthur just weeks after saying Ricky Stuart would not be allowed to import his own backroom staff.
On July 29, Bentley told ABC radio: “Our position is that we do have staff here that are currently employed to do those jobs and some of those people are on contract so we’re not going to provide or allow Ricky to do a major cleanout of our coaching structure.”
But last week Arthur was told his services were not required next year while Dean Pay has announced he is leaving Melbourne to join the Eels.
Asked about the apparent change, Bentley tells RLW: “We’ve had some discussions about where he thought some gaps are but we’ve also had Matt Cameron leave and go to Penrith.
“That provided an opportunity. One of those positions will be taken with his vacancy. We’ll sort out what other additional resources he might need to fill some other gaps.
“There’ve been a few people mentioned: Dean Pay, Matt Parish and Trent (Barrett) … . we haven’t actually signed anything (with Pay) at the moment. He’s certainly on our radar.
“We’re still looking at an NYC coach. That’s one of the things that Ricky wants to sort out. Once we’ve got the right structure with the coaching side and the high performance area, we’ll try to sit down early next week and see what he wants.”
Bentley said of the remaining staff, “pretty much, they’ll all be staying. It’s an area where we haven’t really sat down and gone through the details. There’s (head trainer) Craig Catterick, he’s been there and Ricky’s worked with him in the past.”
Arthur said he was at a loss to say what he would be doing next year. “We just have to wait and see what opportunities are out there. We’ll worry about the next two weeks first.”
Retiring club great Luke Burt said: “I’ve really enjoyed Brad for the two years I’ve had him and he’s doing a wonderful job. He’s really brought the boys together and I think he’s an asset where-ever he is and a definitely NRL coach of the future – 100 per cent.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK