Raiders finally remove Furner, but contract extensions must be examined
Luke Walsh and Josh Dugan have a disagreement during the NRL round 23, Penrith Panthers V Canberra Raiders in Penrith, Sunday Aug. 12, 2012. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Robb Cox)
It never ceases to amaze me how some coaches are employed, and then when even ‘Dopey Dora’ can see they cannot coach at first grade level, some boardrooms not only don’t sack them but actually give them a contract extension.
Raiders coach David Furner was hired, it must be said, by the club with his brother, Don Furner, as CEO in 2009. He managed a 43% win record with a much better than average roster.
Any thinking fan who studied the game closely could not believe that Furner #1 had overseen Furner #2′s coaching extension.
The Canberra Club have constantly lost exciting young players because of the lack of discipline and a coaching culture that did not win important matches when expected.
The Raiders board and CEO should also be on thin ice with members as they have waited until it is too late to do anything for 2013.
The Cowboys are in a similar position as they sacked their coach two weeks ago, a couple of years after most students of the game thought he should have been tapped on the shoulder.
Like the Raiders, the Cowboys enjoy a stunning playing list and incredibly must win every game left this season just to qualify for the finals.
Like Furner, the sacked Cowboys coach Neil Henry was also given a coaching extension by their inept board that includes NRL 360 host Ben Ikin.
The most important challenge for all NRL Boards is to hire a good Coach and an even better Talent Scout. If they fail to get the recruitment right it makes little difference how good the coach is.
Any club can make a mistake but the real mistake to keep on making the same mistake when it is obvious a mistake has been made.
We have discussed the Raiders and the Cowboys but they are not the only clubs in trouble. Titans coach John Cartwright is another with a better than average list that has underperformed and has also been given an extension. He is reported to be hiring Neil Henry as his assistant for next year but appears there is no budget. Wonder what the members think of the blind leading the blind?
News scribe Paul Kent has suggested that Henry could go to the Raiders saying on Fox Sports: ”You could do a lot worse”.
Really Mr. Kent, based on what? This is the same Paul Kent who is the ghost writer for Ricky Stuart and writes for his paper with the sub heading: “The game’s best thinker”.
The Warriors appointed Matt Elliot as their coach this year after he had a 44% win record in the NRL over ten years. How does a Board justify that to their members?
The very best of all is Ricky Stuart who has his current club Parramatta in reverse and set to win the Wooden Spoon with a record minus For and Against Points differential.
The Board signed him up for a lazy $800k a season after he was sacked from his previous two clubs, the Sharks and the Roosters, which he left in tatters. Ricky is a media favourite and it is those same journos that are suggesting that he will cut ties with the Eels and have a crack in Canberra. Surely the Raiders Board will not go down this path.
I haven’t even looked at poor Steve Price (Dragons), the embattled Anthony Griffin (Broncos), nor misfiring-Mick Potter (Wests Tigers) yet.
Obviously it is difficult to track down and hire a top class coach, but it is not difficult to not replace him when he does not achieve his strategic gaols.
Maybe some of the NRL Boards should give John Ribot a call as he gave both Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy their first shot in first grade and they are now regarded as the game’s best two coaches.
He also hired Chris Anderson as the foundation coach for the Storm and won their initial Title after two years.
He also hired Peter O’Sullivan and put him in charge of recruitment, before the astute Nick Politis grabbed him for the Roosters. Ironically the Roosters should play the Storm in Week 1 of the Finals this year.