NRL: I bit off more than I could chew at Eels - Kearney

Stephen Kearney. Photo / Dean Purcell
Stephen Kearney. Photo / Dean Purcell

Stephen Kearney has admitted he was unprepared for his first stint as an NRL head coach at Parramatta.

Kearney, who will join Brisbane as assistant coach for the next two seasons, was sacked by the Eels in July after an unhappy two seasons in which he managed just 10 wins from 42 games as coach.

But the New Zealand test coach has recovered from those tough times to be named as an assistant to Anthony Griffin at the Broncos, replacing the outgoing Allan Langer on a two-year deal.

Kearney said he could put his difficult experience with Parramatta to good use at Brisbane.

"I had five years with Craig Bellamy at the Melbourne Storm and after that I thought I was ready for the chance to be a first-grade coach," Kearney said.

"But I bit off more than I could chew with Parramatta. In saying that, I take a lot of positives out of the experience and it has steeled me for the next part of my journey.

"In some respects it is a case of getting back to basics, and trying to play a key role at a successful club."

Griffin, who mentored the former Kiwi forward as an assistant coach at Melbourne in 2002, said Kearney still had plenty to offer.

"Stephen has won Four Nations and World Cup titles as coach of the Kiwis, and was involved with premiership victories at the Storm," Griffin said. "The fact his experience has been gained outside the history and culture of this club means he brings a new point of view to our coaching department.

"Things didn't work out in his two years at Parramatta, but that's the way it goes in coaching sometimes.

"Steve has a terrific work ethic and is passionate about coaching ... and he has a hunger for success."

- AAP

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