Eels set to name new coach Kearney - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels set to name new coach Kearney

By Steve Jancetic and Nicky Park 05/10/2010 06:58:52 PM Comments (0)

Former Melbourne assistant Stephen Kearney will set about reviving an out of sorts Parramatta when he is formally introduced as the NRL club's new coach on Wednesday.

In what would easily classify as rugby league's worst kept secret had there ever been any attempt to keep it hidden, Kearney will take over from Daniel Anderson after he was sacked in response to the Eels's disappointing season.

After opening up as premiership favourites following their grand final appearance in 2009, the Eels slumped to finish 12th this year.

Despite reassurances to the coach and senior players that Anderson would be retained for the final year of his deal in 2011, his contract was terminated last month following an extraordinary board meeting.

Speculation had been rife that New Zealand Test coach Kearney would be his replacement, but it was met by constant denials by Eels officials.

That continued even after the Storm released a statement on Saturday confirming Kearney had been given a release to accept a position with Parramatta, with Kearney continuing to dodge the subject on Tuesday.

Speaking at the unveiling of New Zealand's Four nations squad in Auckland, Kearney offered cryptic responses when asked about the Eels's job.

"Today is about the Kiwi side and I'm sure that in due time that you may hear something," Kearney said.

"I think what will happen, will happen".

"It will transpire in the next few days I guess. At this stage my focus is purely on making sure we prepare well for the Kiwis campaign."

Kearney flew back to Australia after Tuesday's announcement, with the Eels having tentatively scheduled a press conference for Wednesday morning.

Asked if speculation over his future had hindered his Four Nations preparations, Kearney said:

"Not at all really.

"This is my responsibility, looking after this Kiwi side."

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