SYDNEY - Captain Tim Mannah says Parramatta's decision not to sign Brad Arthur as head coach last season could prove to be one of the Eels' best moves.
Former Eels assistant and caretaker coach Arthur lost out to Ricky Stuart for the job in 2013 and got to fine tune his craft as an assistant to Geoff Toovey with perennial finalists Manly while Parramatta endured another season of wooden spoon misery.
When Stuart left for Canberra ahead of the 2014 season, the door again opened for Arthur at the Eels and this time the club pounced and Mannah says he's returned a far more complete coach, ready to push Parramatta back up the NRL ladder.
"Brad has come back from Manly a new man ... going there has probably been the best thing for him," Mannah said.
"We had him here before he went, he had a great work ethic, he had everything he needed to be a great coach but I think spending a year with a team like Manly, it has made him a more complete and balanced coach and he now really ticks all the boxes.
"I can see the growth and development he has got from going there and Parramatta is better off for it."
Arthur was part of the Manly set up that reached last year's grand final, losing to the Sydney Roosters, he previously enjoyed grand final success with Melbourne as an assistant to Craig Bellamy in 2009.
Mannah believes those experiences with such successful clubs, coupled with his time at the Eels under coach Stephen Kearney in 2011 and 2012 and later as a caretaker coach after the Kiwi mentor was sacked, have given Arthur the right tools to succeed as a first grade coach.
"He came from Melbourne where he spent a number of years and they obviously had a lot of success and he knew one way of doing things," Mannah said.
"Then to go to Manly and see a different club that is also very successful and to see the way they do things gives a bit of balance to see that you can do things differently and still get the same result.
"It has helped him become a better coach and it has helped us become a better team as well."