Sea Eagles recruit Jake Arthur is set to face his former club, the Parramatta Eels, and his father, Brad Arthur, for the first time this Saturday. Jake, who left the Eels due to limited game time, has been named as the stand-in halfback for the Sea Eagles. During his time at Parramatta, he played under his father’s coaching for three seasons, appearing in a total of 20 games.
Leading up to the match, Brad revealed a bit of playful teasing had occurred around the dinner table. “He came over for dinner and I casually asked him about training, and he cheekily replied that ‘Baldy is rattled’. He thinks we’re worried,” Brad shared with reporters on Thursday. However, Brad made it clear that he was not concerned about the upcoming game, responding to his son’s remark with a joke, saying, “We’re going to bash him.”
With Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans occupied with State of Origin duties, Jake will take the field at CommBank Stadium on Saturday. Brad admitted that despite the excitement surrounding this father-son clash, this game would be one of the easier ones for him concerning Jake. “It’s probably easier for me this week with him not being in the Parramatta team than if he was,” Brad explained. “If he was playing for us, I’d be a bit more on edge and nervous. Now, all I have to do is focus on preparing the team and worrying about them, while he has another coach looking out for him.”
When asked about Jake’s allegiances, Brad revealed that Jake’s mother was supporting Parramatta but also wanted her son to perform well. He emphasized that Jake was enjoying his time at Manly and appreciated the different coaching perspective and voice. “He’s had only our coaching and now he can develop his game and choose the elements he likes from both us and the Manly coaches,” Brad shared.
As for the game plan, Brad stressed that the Eels needed to concentrate on their own performance, with a focus on getting things right. “We primarily focus on ourselves, about 70% on us and 30% on the opposition,” Brad said. He added that the team was well-acquainted with Jake’s abilities since they had trained with and against him for several years in opposed sessions twice a week. “The boys know what he’s good at, what he needs to improve on, and where they may have the advantage. They are well-prepared and know more about it than I do,” Brad acknowledged.
In conclusion, the upcoming match between the Sea Eagles and the Eels holds special significance as Jake Arthur takes on his former club and his father. While there is some light-hearted banter between father and son, both are focused on their respective roles and preparing their teams for the game. It will be an interesting match to see how Jake performs against his former teammates and how the Eels strategize to combat his strengths.
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Hasibur Rahaman is a passionate sports journalist. He covers everything from cricket to field hockey, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis of sporting events, both within India and on the international stage.