He doesn’t officially start until next year, but Trent Barrett took the opportunity to cast his eye over his first Parramatta training session on Tuesday.
Barrett, who will be Brad Arthur’s assistant coach from 2023, was a surprise visitor when the blue and golds were on the training paddock at Kellyville Park. The former Manly and Canterbury coach made an impromptu appearance as the team went through its paces and then shared his observations with spine players Mitchell Moses, Dylan Brown, Clint Gutherson and Reed Mahoney.
While he wasn’t present in an official capacity, it was a chance for the quartet and the coaching staff to pick Barrett’s brain just two weeks out from the finals.
“He popped by and said hello,” said Eels forward Shaun Lane. “He didn’t stand in for training too much and get involved, he was just scouting out the place and sussing everything out.
“Everyone had a chat to him and said hello. I saw him after training having a few words with the halves and Reedy and Gutho. That’s going to be the main reason why Parra have got him on board, to use his skills and knowledge over the career that he had, obviously he was a great player and worked with some good halves himself over at Penrith.
“It would be good to see what goes on there next year.”
Barrett will be charged with overseeing the Eels attack, a role he has previously held at the Panthers, where he was praised for helping to develop Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai into superstars. Lane played under Barrett during his stint at the Sea Eagles and believes his experience as a coach and player will benefit the group.
“If you look at his resume, what he’s been able to do as a player, he has skills and knowledge there to be able to perform at the best level,” Lane said.