Fremantle coach hits back at Thomas
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has hit back at critic Grant Thomas after the former St Kilda coach questioned his ability to lead an AFL side.
Harvey, who is contracted until the end of 2010, is a man under pressure after the Dockers’ winless start to the season.
Thomas, now in the media, intensified the scrutiny on Harvey by suggesting the former Bomber was “out of his depth” as a senior coach and “born to be an assistant”.
“Dare I say it, but there are some coaches that were born to be an assistant coach. I think Mark Harvey is one of those coaches,” Thomas wrote in his ninemsn.com.au blog.
“He has failed to stamp any traits of his wonderful qualities on the team he is accountable for.
“For whatever reason, his charges do not respond to his coaching and don’t play for him.
“Harvs seems to be under siege and lacks confidence with what to do.
“It is a very difficult time for a coach when you are not sure that the playing group are aligned to your thinking.
“I suspect there is a very real disconnection between his philosophies and their desire to implement.”
TAB Sportsbet have installed the Dockers as $4.80 second favourites behind Melbourne for the wooden spoon.
Harvey, who has led Fremantle to just 10 victories in 31 games at the helm, insisted the group was on track for future success and claimed Thomas was out of touch with what the club was attempting to build.
“I think what you have to realise is where the club’s at and what we are trying to do before you even make those sorts of comments,” Harvey said on Wednesday.
“I’ve stated that if you go and get 14 first-year players you don’t go and get a franchise player or you don’t go and pinch players from other clubs.
“You are pretty much making a statement about where you’re at and what you need to do.
“Right at the moment we need our better players performing a lot better than what they are.
“Some of our younger players we’ve given opportunities to.
“This week I’ll be playing another first-gamer or two.
“It’s not hard to know where we’re at.
“So to draw analogies from afar, Grant should know better.
“We are galvanised, irrespective of what people want to write and say.
“And the rapport with the players and coaches is first-rate considering where the group is at from an experience point of view.”
Harvey said 2009 was a development year at Fremantle after last year’s mass cleanout.
“When you go to the draft table like we did we are going to lack depth until such time as those guys can get experience,” Harvey said.
“It may be one of those years where we play the majority of our list.
“That’s how you evolve and develop players.
“There’s no better experience than playing at AFL level.”© AAP 2013
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