Releasing son only 'selfish' call of Arthur's tenure

·3-min read

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says his decision to approve son Jake's move to Manly was the first time he put himself before the team in 10 seasons at the helm.

The younger Arthur joined the Sea Eagles on Monday after being released from the remainder of his Parramatta contract and could line up for his new side as soon as this Sunday, with regular halfback Daly Cherry-Evans away on State of Origin duty.

The mid-season switch ended Arthur's two-year stint in the first-grade side that was marred by poor treatment from fans.

Early last season the Eels came out in defence of Arthur, who received social media trolling when he was named at five-eighth ahead of Dylan Brown amid a tough run of injuries.

Apparently claiming nepotism, members of the Eels home crowd booed him on his return to the first-grade side later in the year and reports emerged he was again targeted after his lone NRL appearance in 2023.

The younger Arthur stays off social media and the Eels have repeatedly claimed he took little notice of his detractors.

But now that his son has begun training with his new teammates, coach Arthur has been able to breathe a sigh of relief.

While the Eels have lost their back-up playmaker, the coach finally feels comfortable that no more negative attention will come to his son.

"I've been here for 10 years now and I can honestly say I've never put my family before the team," he said.

"For once, I've done it.

"I made a selfish decision for our family.

"I've already felt the relief and the weight off my shoulders.

"I've seen him talk yesterday at their media. He was very happy with his time at our club but to me it looked like he's got the weight off his shoulders.

"He can go and play now without the extra burden of being Brad Arthur's son, but just being Jake. He can have the same standards and expectations as everyone else."

On Sunday, Arthur will drive up the M1 to watch his son play either NSW Cup or first-grade against Newcastle and will be able to leave his coaching hat at home.

"I can't wait to just to go and sit on the hill and watch him play," Arthur said.

Arthur's release comes as the Eels confirm forward Ryan Matterson will miss up to four weeks with his calf injury.

Matterson joins the injured Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Shaun Lane and Andrew Davey as unavailable for Friday's clash with North Queensland, which Origin representative Junior Paulo also misses.

Arthur looked forward to the timely arrival of Joe Ofahengaue, who joins the club from Wests Tigers and will start in the front row on Friday.

"Obviously, he's crafty with the ball but I think there's some untapped potential around his power game," Arthur said.

"Hopefully he fits into that style of footy that we like to play."