Stuart a victim of pressure: Thompson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stuart a victim of pressure: Thompson

By Wayne Heming 09/12/2008 04:07:53 PM Comments (0)

Highly respected national head swimming coach Alan Thompson believes fallen Australian rugby league mentor Ricky Stuart was a victim of the pressures faced by elite coaches.

Thompson, who oversees the coaching and training of Australia's best swimmers, said while he felt for Stuart - who stood down on Monday following last month's tirade against match officials - he had an obligation to conduct himself appropriately at all times.

"When you are in a position like this (Australian coach) you have a huge responsibility on your shoulders," said Thompson, who joined several other high profile sporting coaches to watch and exchange ideas at a Brisbane Broncos training session Tuesday.

"You have to behave in a way that is above reproach.

"I'm sure Ricky is very sorry and I think he's shown that in the comments that he has made.

"You have to remember we're struggling to find referees and officials in all sports these days and one thing you can't do is abuse officials."

Thompson said modern day coaches were under incredible pressure to get results.

"But even under that pressure you have to show you are above reproach, it's something all coaches have to consider.

"It's a shame (for Ricky) but the good thing is I heard (ARL chairman) Colin Love on the television last night saying the door wasn't shut."

Thompson conceded he'd been in situations many times where he had wanted to let fly when decisions went against a swimmer.

"Absolutely. It's one of the hardest things. I'm sure Ricky's been in the situation 100 times before and been able to hold his tongue," he said.

"It happens every week for these NRL coaches. You see some things but they can't do anything about because they've got that $10,000 fine hanging over their head and they can't really say what they think.

"Maybe it all got the better of Ricky at the end of the year.

"One thing you have to do is abide by the referee's decision.

"My dad always said to me to look at the scoreboard and when the referee or umpire makes a decision abide by that decision whether in your opinion it's right or wrong.

"We all have to do that."

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