Former North Queensland stalwart and current Queensland Origin assistant coach Josh Hannay has expressed strong interest in the head coaching role at Parramatta, stating he “couldn't be more ready” and that “the job appeals” after a comprehensive apprenticeship in various coaching positions.

After parting ways with Brad Arthur after an 11-year tenure, the Eels are actively searching for a new head coach for 2025.

Interim coach Trent Barrett has been non-committal about seeking the role permanently, while the club has committed to a global search for the ideal candidate.

After Hannay's manager Chris Orr met with Parramatta Eels' officials, Josh came out publicly.

“I've purposely distanced myself from recent coaching vacancies because the job satisfaction I have here [at Cronulla] and for the Maroons is enormous. I'm loath to walk away from that just for a different opportunity, but the Eels opportunity certainly appeals, that's what I can say.

“There's a lot of potential for growth, there's a lot of parts to that roster that excite. Off the field there's an enormous fan base, it's an enormously resourced club.”

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Currently, the Eels are languishing in 14th place and face the risk of competing for the wooden spoon if they lose to the Rabbitohs on Saturday. However, Hannay remains optimistic about the team's roster.

“What stands out is the halves,” he said.

“You look at Brown and Moses, they are as good a halves combination as you could hope for stepping into that position. In and around that there's some young talent with Blaize [Talagi], J'Maine Hopgood is on the fringes of Origin, some strong outside backs. From the outside looking in, there's a lot of parts to that roster that do look appealing.”

Hannay's coaching experience includes interim head coach roles at the Sharks and Cowboys, as well as being the current assistant coach for Billy Slater's Queensland Maroons. He was previously earmarked by Des Hasler as his successor at Manly before Hasler was replaced by Anthony Seibold.

Although Hannay is contracted to the Sharks until the end of 2026, head coach Craig Fitzgibbon has indicated he would not stand in Hannay's way if a top job came up.

Meanwhile, Trent Barrett reflected on his readiness, drawing from his previous experiences as a head coach at Canterbury and Manly.

“I've certainly learned a lot since I've been here for the past 18 months,” Barrett said.

“There's bits and pieces you pick up and things I would certainly do different. I'm excited about the challenge for the rest of the year.”

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