Anderson looms as Stuart's replacement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anderson looms as Stuart's replacement

By Adrian Proszenko 28/08/2006 07:35:33 PM Comments (0)

Former New Zealand Warriors coach Daniel Anderson is looming as the man most likely to coach the Sydney Roosters next season after the NRL club dumped Ricky Stuart from the post on Monday.

Stuart was under growing pressure to retain his position after the Roosters won just eight of 23 games so far this season to miss the semi-finals for the second consecutive year.

Stuart's manager John Fordham met with Roosters chairman Nick Politis on Monday afternoon "in an attempt to reach a mutually agreeable solution", a club statement said.

"It's not a sacking or any of that stuff at all, it's an agreement reached between two parties," Fordham said on Monday.

"It's all in the (press) release, I'm about to have a beer with Ricky."

The Australian Test coach will be moving on after Saturday's clash against St George Illawarra at the SCG, with the final year of his contract to be paid out in full.

"Considering the circumstances, it was in the best interests of both parties to bring an end to this debate that was causing a lot of damage," Stuart said in the statement.

"In saying that, let me make it clear that this is indeed one of the saddest days in my football career although I feel I can leave the Roosters with my head held high as we - the players, the coaching staff and the club itself - have achieved a high degree of success in the past five years.

"Although the last two years, in particular, have been very difficult for reasons that are fairly well known, there has never been a drop-off in the desire and professionalism of the players and the coaching staff to achieve success.

"The Roosters are in a rebuilding phase with lots of promising but inexperienced young players who are willing to put up their hands up and provide the platform for a more competitive club as they reach player maturity."

"Like everyone, I'm surprised," hooker Craig Wing said on Monday night.

"I was just out the door from training and one of the guys picked up the phone and said 'shit, look what's happened'.

"It's all a bit of a shock."

Stuart guided the Roosters to three successive grand finals, including a premiership in his first year in charge in 2002, but chief executive Brian Canavan confirmed the board was ready for a "new direction".

"It's a sad day for Ricky in particular, obviously it's a sad day for the club," chief executive Brian Canavan said.

"He's a very proud man, he sets himself very high standards.

"So it was decided in the best interests of both parties that we move on at the end of the season.

"But our board just decided that we needed a new direction as they say, and that's what we're doing at the end of this year."

Anderson, who coached Super League side St Helens to a Challenge Cup victory over Huddersfield on the weekend, is favourite to take over Stuart's role.

However, assistant Shane Flanagan told AAP he wanted the top job.

"I've done my time, I'd like to have a shot at it," he said.

"I've had seven years coaching lower grades, I've coached a couple of sides that have won the premiership in Flegg and in reserve grade.

"I've coached under Brian Smith for a few years and then under Ricky.

"What else can I do?"

Flanagan said he wasn't surprised by the developments.

"This has been brewing for the last two or three weeks so I'm not surprised," he said.

"I'm disappointed for him because he's a good coach and a good mate of mine.

"He didn't want to go, that wasn't the case at all.

"The chairman and the board decided it wasn't working and the club needed a change for its 100th year."

There had been speculation coaching assistant Brad Fittler and former NSW coach Phil Gould would combine to take over the reins, but Politis said that was unlikely.

"I don't think they've got it right with regards to Gus and Freddy," Politis told AAP.

"He's got a pretty expensive contract with (Channel) Nine, so I don't know if he would have time to coach anyway, even if somebody wanted him to coach."

Other likely contenders for the job include Penrith mentor John Lang and Sharks lower grade coach Adrian Lam.

"I'm sick of being linked with this or that," Lang said.

"You can throw me in the mix or in the bin - you can do what you like with me."

Already, there is speculation Stuart could take over at Cronulla next season, although Sharks CEO Greg Pierce indicated Stuart Raper was likely to retain the job.

"At this stage we haven't even given that a second thought, and it's not my decision anyway," he said.

The Sharks have slated that a review of all staff and business practices will commence this week.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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