hagan-eels now offical

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FORMER Queensland Origin coach Michael Hagan has concluded negotiations to become Parramatta's new rugby league coach for three years.

Hagan, in New Zealand until this week, will join Parramatta in 2007, replacing Brian Smith.

In the meantime, Hagan said his energies in 2006 would be directed towards winning the premiership with his current club Newcastle.

The public acknowledgement of Hagan joining Parramatta confirms the best-known secret in rugby league.

All that is to be decided now is who replaces Hagan at Newcastle.

Former Kangaroo utility back Kevin Walters and former Manly first grade coach Peter Sharp have already indicated interest in the job.

Hagan said last night he was happy with the professional way negotiations had been completed with Parramatta.

But his immediate interest was making Newcastle a success this year.

"We have the players to do well and if we can avoid injuries, I like our chances," he said.

"Everything is very positive in the club."

Hagan's belief that Parramatta are the future and Newcastle are the present is shared by the club.

"I have no doubt that Michael will do a professional job with the side this year," said Newcastle CEO Ken Conway.

He said the club had already set in motion plans to find a coach for 2007 but there was no rush.

"We met last week to decide on objective criteria to select a new coach and that will be passed to the full board this week," he said.

"A lot of people have put up their hands about the job, including some really good coaches, assistant coaches and Premier League coaches.

"We will select a coach who best suits us."

Parramatta chief executive Denis Fitzgerald said Hagan was a proven premiership winning coach, but denied the announcement would affect incumbent coach Brian Smith.

"He'll be very keen to win the competition in his 10th and final season with the club," he said.


It will be interesting to see how Parra perform this year.

My money is on them having an ordinary one because of Smith leaving and hagan comming.

Quite a few of the Parra players didn't want him to leave and tahu for one is not looking forward to Hagan going to Parra because he left Newcastle because hagan wouldn't play him in the centres.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
Sunday Telegraph (R. Wilson) suggested that David Fairleigh is the favourite to take over at Newcastle and that Sharp would miss out. Mal Reilly is moving to Australia for good as well which is interesting. (Could he be a chance to be the next Manly coach???????)

I think Parra will be sensational this year as there is an impact of players trying to go out on a big note for a departing coach to prove officials wrong that often takes place. Not sure how Newcastle will go this year - depends on how health Joey stays and whether he can carry them.

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