Angela Habashy, Sydney June 30, 2012
Stephen Kearney. Photo: Jon Reid
PARRAMATTA legend Ray Price says he would not risk his reputation if he did not think under-fire coach Stephen Kearney was the man to get the embattled NRL side back on track.
Parramatta yesterday confirmed Price and two-time premiership-winning coach Chris Anderson will take up mentor roles at the club.
While former Australian Test coach Anderson is being brought in to support Kearney, who played for him in Melbourne's 1999 premiership-winning side, Price will mentor the younger Eels forwards, including Mitchell Allgood, Taniela Lasalo, Joseph Paulo and Matt Ryan.
''It's not that much of an input but it may speak louder than words can,'' Price said.
''I'll just be trying to give them some confidence back and have them believe in themselves and believe in their mates.
''If I can do that and teach them some solid defence, I'm sure they'll be pointing in the right direction.''
Price, who will also help in a development role with the club's academy players, has backed besieged coach Kearney to revive the side's season, despite the fact he has yet to lead them to back-to-back wins since taking the reins last year.
With the wooden spoon looming large, the Eels have not managed two straight wins since round 20 in 2010 - the longest stretch without consecutive victories of any NRL club.
But Price, who played in each of Parramatta's four premiership wins in 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1986, is adamant all is not lost.
''If I didn't believe the coach was the right man or couldn't do the job I wouldn't be putting my head on the chopping block.
''I think Kearney will end up being noted for being one of the great coaches of the NRL game. I've got a lot of confidence in the man.''
Kearney has managed only nine wins in 39 games since taking over as Eels coach in 2011.
Meanwhile, Eels forward Shane Shackleton has been granted an immediate release to join Penrith.