Former Hull FC, Bradford Bulls and Wakefield boss Brian Smith makes shock play to become new head coach

FORMER Hull FC, Bradford Bulls and Wakefield Trinity boss Brian Smith has made a shock play to become the new head coach of the Parramatta Eels.

The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed that Smith, who is often thought of as one of the best coaches in the world after guiding three different clubs to four Grand Finals in 1992, 1993, 2001 and 2010, is in the running to take over the vacant position at the Eels following the axing of Brad Arthur earlier in the year.

Smith hasn’t coached in the NRL for 12 years, with his last coaching role coming with Wakefield in 2015 and 2016.

The veteran boss previously led Parramatta for nine seasons between 1997 and 2006 and recently took up a coaching consultant role with local New South Wales side Casino Cougars.

Josh Hannay, however, is said to still be the favourite for the job.

“Our NRL on-field performance this season has been disappointing and well below expectations,” Eels CEO Jim Sarantinos told SMH.

“We know it’s not what you expect from us, and it’s certainly not what we expect from ourselves. We understand your disappointment, and we share it.

“I can assure you that the current coaches and playing group are committed to turning things around. They’re putting in the hard yards at training, and their desire to win is undeniable …

“We’re currently in the midst of a comprehensive process to appoint a new head coach.

“This is a critical appointment, and we’re taking the time to ensure we appoint the right person – someone who embodies our values, will establish the right culture and can lead our football program into a new era.”

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