The coach must run the team, not the board

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Romelda Aiken - Photo by Kangaroo Photos

With the current issue facing NRL player Brett Stewart, some questions have been raised as to whether or not the NRL board has made the right decision in banning him from the game for several weeks.

Whether or not their decision is valid, the issue regarding who is the ‘decision maker’ in these types of cases can often be confusing and can create further issues in the future.

In a case, such as Brett Stewart saga, does it come down to the responsibility of the club coach, the club board or even the league board as to who should be the one making these decisions, because at the end of the day, if things go pear-shaped, then the decision makers should surely be the ones held responsible.

The issue regarding the board’s interference with players has transferred to netball in recent weeks, with speculation that the Queensland Firebirds coach, Vicki Wilson, has had conflict with the Netball Queensland Board.

It is believed that the board has replaced the outgoing Megan Dehn with Carla Dziwoki, despite claims that coach Vicki Wilson was attempting to have Katie Walker back in the side as Dehn’s replacement.

It is also believed that the board has appointed a specialist coach to assist Australian defender Laura Geitz, as well as having agreed to release Jamaican import Romelda Aitken mid-season to play in an Under 21 test match for her home country against England, all of which have been without consultation with the coach.

It astounds me that there appears to be such conflict between the board and the coach that these types of decisions are being made, the majority of which are surely the decision of the coach, especially when it comes to the playing roster.

Does the board think that decisions such as these are going to be made without further impact on players, and therefore their performances throughout the season?

Whilst players have enough to think about on court as well as their busy lives off court, the last thing that they need is to be dragged in to issues and disagreements between the board and coach. Will the decision to appoint a specialist coach for Geitz, without Wilson being informed, result in issues between the player and the coach?

Will the decision to sign a player, that it is believed that the coach does not want, result in the player spending all season on the bench and increase tension between players and the coach?

Whether the board is in their rights to make these decisions, surely their impact on the players needs to be taken in to consideration, because as easy as it is to try and ‘block out’ and ‘ignore’ what is going on, when it involves players themselves, it is often not as easy as it looks.

At the end of the day, if these decision affect the team’s harmony and their performance during the season, who takes responsibility?

Will the board stick their hand up and say they had a role to play, or will it all be placed on the coach as having not done enough with the playing list she had to work with, despite it not being what she may have wanted?

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