Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur has responded to claims of nepotism, after his teenage son Jake’s tough night against North Queensland last weekend.
The 19-year-old struggled at five-eighth for the Eels, after a backline injury crisis forced Dylan Brown into the centres for two-straight games.
Jake has since been left out of the side for a huge clash with Penrith on Friday night, but it didn’t stop some nasty comments on social media directed at the young playmaker.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Brad revealed that his son doesn’t use social media and was unaware of the comments regarding his performance and his relationship with the coach.
“It’s unfair but it is what it is…people are entitled to their opinion,” he said.
“I suppose it’s always harder when it’s your own flesh and blood.
“He’s fine, doesn’t do social media so he didn’t know a hell of a lot what was going on until he got some nice messages from people checking if he was okay.
“He asked me on Monday night what all the commotion was around and I sort of told him and he moved on.
“We always knew it was going to happen. It’s about how you deal with it and how he responds – he can’t lose confidence. He will go back and play with his mates in Cup.
“It will be good to have Tommy (Opacic) back and put Dylan back to six.”
Jake is still in the infancy of his career, and as we have seen with countless other young halves, it takes a lot of patience and time for them to perfect their craft.
When quizzed on his future at the Eels, Brad said that would be a decision for the club and Jake himself to make.
“That’s his decision and the club’s decision if they want him,” he said.
“It’s not something we need to worry about now, he is still a valuable member of our squad and if something happened in the halves, he gets an opportunity.
“We’ve got a few players coming back and hopefully we don’t have the same amount of injuries we are experiencing at the moment.”