Raiders raise questions over new coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders raise questions over new coach

By Adrian Proszenko 30/03/2006 07:55:03 PM Comments (0)

Canberra is considering pitching Matthew Elliott's successor immediately into a hands-on coaching role at the Raiders this NRL season.

Raiders officials have flagged the move, which is likely to put even more pressure on Elliott following two heavy losses and his decision to link with Penrith from next season.

The club has indicated a decision on Elliott's replacement could be made as soon as next week.

Chairman John McIntyre, who was livid at suggestions that Elliott would play an influential role at Penrith this season, has revealed his replacement could be asked to start work alongside him immediately.

"That's just one of those possibilities, so if the situation arose that would be something we'd give some serious consideration to," McIntyre said.

"We don't see that as being an embargo.

"A lot of it depends on the personalities of the people involved - it's something you would only do if those personalities matched up.

"As an organisation, we remain very open-minded on the coaching issue."

Should the Raiders go ahead with the move, it would mark the third time the club has had two coaches simultaneously presiding at the helm of the team.

In 1987, Wayne Bennett shared the role with Don Furner before linking with Brisbane the following year, while Mal Meninga and Elliott shared the coaching duties in 2001.

McIntyre said he hadn't discussed a dual coaching arrangement with Elliott, but said it was likely he would be amenable to the idea.

"He has always shown a high degree of flexibility in the past," he said.

It's understood premiership-winning coach Chris Anderson, St Helens mentor Daniel Anderson, Wests Tigers assistant Royce Simmons and North Queensland assistant Neil Henry are the leading candidates for the position.

When contacted about the possibility of sharing the coaching role this season, Elliott said it was the first he'd heard about it.

"No one has spoken to me about it and it's not something I'm going to consider," he said.

"I can understand why the questions are coming and I understand when there are below-par performances people search for underlying reasons.

"I can assure you there are none.

"I'm very confident with the personnel we've got here."

Asked about how he handled the dual coaching role with Meninga, Elliot said: "I was here for a year under Mal.

"I thought Mal and I managed it really well, there were no problems."

Raiders hooker Simon Woolford, who played under the pair in 2001, said it was important the incoming coach had some immediate involvement with the club.

"I don't think it can hurt," Woolford said.

"If they get a new coach I think it's paramount that he's hands on at the club in some shape or form ASAP.

"If that's to come on board or just to oversee things, start to learn about the players and who he wants to keep, I can only see that as a positive thing.

Meanwhile, Parramatta is reportedly close to re-signing exciting young centre Ben Smith, a move which is likely to rule out a return home for St Helens' Jamie Lyon.

And Manly has denied rumours of a fallout between halfback Matt Orford and coach Des Hasler.

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