RICKY Stuart has hinted at a shake-up of Parramatta’s playing roster after being unveiled as the struggling NRL club’s new coach this morning.
As predicted by this website for the past week, Stuart will take the reins at Parramatta from 2013 and has signed a three-year deal.
Stephen Kearney stood down as Parramatta coach last week, handing the interim position to assistant Brad Arthur, who will remain coach until the end of 2012.
Stuart said he was excited about the challenge of rebuilding the club and moulding his own playing roster.
“A number of players are off contract next year and that is healthy for me … they will determine their own outcome by their own input,” Stuart said.
“I’m excited about the challenge.”
“When I sat down with Roy (Chairman Roy Spagnolo) and Bob (CEO Bob Bentley), I could see their commitment in wanting to win.
“(It is a) big club and big challenge, and all those involved are desperate to be winners. Leadership is important for myself as a coach.”
Stuart said he would like to continue his role as NSW Origin coach on top if his role with the Eels, despite the NSWRL’s policy that the Blues’ coaching role be full-time.
“(I’m) not walking away from Origin, but this is an opportunity I’ve been waiting for, and it’s arrived,” Stuart said.
“If they don’t make the right decision in regards to New South Wales, Queensland will win 10 in a row.”
“There’s still a part of me that’s empty because I didn’t win.”
“All I wanted to do was win for NSW people, supporters and our players. But the decision is not up to me.”
Stuart turned his back on big interest from his old club side Canberra because of a desire to stay in Sydney.
“Importantly, my appointment also provides ongoing stability for my family, especially as we moved into a new home in Sydney in the past year,” he said.
Spagnolo said that while Stuart had signed a three-year deal, he hoped to keep him at the club long-term.
“Going forward, I look at him being here for more than three years,” Spagnolo said.