Parramatta are set to offer their vacant coaching position to Manly assistant Brad Arthur.
Arthur worked alongside Stephen Kearney last year but left when Ricky Stuart was appointed at the end of a season that saw the Eels claim the first of two successive wooden spoons.
However, the 39-year-old impressed in his short time as caretaker coach when Kearney was axed, leading the struggling team to wins over Brisbane and the Sydney Roosters and AAP understands he’s the favoured choice of several board members and will be offered the job.
North Queensland were also interested in Arthur but opted for Roosters under-20s coach Paul Green as Neil Henry’s replacement leaving the door open for Arthur at Parramatta.
“He did a very good job when he was here and more importantly he worked well with Jarryd Hayne and a lot of our younger players,” an Eels insider told AAP.
“We will have Will Hopoate here next year and that will put pressure on Jarryd at fullback and we hope he’ll react to that and have a great year.
“Financially we are in good shape the leagues club is making money and we have just signed two new sponsors. We just need to get the coach in place now.”
Test coach Tim Sheens was interviewed by the club on Tuesday but the younger Arthur is the favoured with his knowledge of the team’s younger players working in his favour.
The news will be a dent to Jason Taylor’s hopes of returning to the club.
Parramatta are also struggling with their salary cap for next season and aren’t likely to bring in any other players after South Sydney pair Nathan Peats and Justin Hunt, Hopoate and English prop Lee Mossop.
Knowing most of the squad is something else that works in Arthur’s favour with the board impressed at the way Trent Robinson turned around the Roosters two years after leaving his post as Brian Smith’s No.2.
The club announced on Wednesday they’ve secured a major sponsor after severing ties with long-term partner Pirtek.
Dyldam and UNIBET will don the front and back of the club’s shirt respectively for the next three seasons in a lucrative seven-figure deal.
Private residential group Dyldam were already a club sponsor, but have upgraded to become the main partner.
Recently-appointed Parramatta chief executive Scott Seward said the deals prove how strong a brand the club still are despite two awful seasons.
“Today’s announcement represents the faith shown in us from within by Dyldam upgrading to become our major sponsor and also how strongly we are positioned in the marketplace to be able to attract new corporate partners such as UNIBET,” Seward said.
“I hope securing the largest sponsorship deal in this club’s history off the back of two wooden spoons instils confidence in our members and fans in the job this administration and board are doing right now.”