Laidley quits as Kangaroos coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Laidley quits as Kangaroos coach

16/06/2009 07:51:16 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne's financial troubles helped cut short Dean Laidley's coaching tenure, but Kangaroos chairman James Brayshaw insists they won't prevent the AFL club luring the best replacement.

Laidley quit because he felt it "patently obvious" he could not take the side any further, and admitted limited resources had made his six-and-a-half-season reign "always tough".

He became the second coach to stand down this month - following Richmond's Terry Wallace - when he told Brayshaw on Tuesday he would not seek another contract beyond 2009.

The pair then agreed it was best Laidley, 42, leave immediately and hand the reins to assistant coach Darren Crocker, who will serve as caretaker for the rest of this season.

The Roos will review the football department over the remainder of the season.

Like Richmond caretaker Jade Rawlings, Crocker was immediately installed by bookmakers as favourite to earn the full-time position at his club in 2010.

But the list of potential replacements includes Sydney assistants John Longmire and John Blakey and Richmond assistant David King, all former North players, along with Hawthorn assistant Damien Hardwick, and coach-in-waiting Nathan Buckley.

The fact two clubs are now on the search for a new coach will also force under-performing Port Adelaide to sharpen their attention on Mark Williams' future.

Williams is one of five other coaches out of contract at season's end, but his position is considered less secure than those held by West Coast's John Worsfold, Collingwood's Mick Malthouse, the Western Bulldogs' Rodney Eade and Geelong's Mark Thompson.

Laidley will take time to decide whether to pursue another coaching job or a position within a football department, but is certain he will be at another club in 2010.

"I want to stay in footy, there's no question about that," he said.

"Footy's been my life, it's what I do and I'm good at it.

"I know I'm good at it. I'll probably go anywhere.

"I haven't thought about what I want to do, whether it's a senior position or some sort of coaching position or management position, I'm unsure."

North have endured financial trouble in recent seasons, but Brayshaw said North had channelled more funds into their football department.

He was confident that a revised stadium deal and the ongoing development works at Arden Street made North an enticing prospect for a new coach.

"Whoever comes in will inherit an amazing club on the rise," he said.

"We need to find the absolute best person, but who that will be and how we'll go about it is for future meetings."

Laidley first considered walking away after North were knocked out of the 2008 finals by Sydney, only to be talked around by Brayshaw.

But when Laidley came to his final decision, after meeting on Monday night with football manager Donald McDonald, Brayshaw knew by the "tone of his voice" he would not be deterred again.

Brayshaw said he had "no idea" Laidley would stand down, and Laidley said his players - some of whom gathered to watch Tuesday's press conference - were also surprised.

The departure came as North were reviewing the coaching position, as part of a clause in Laidley's contract which stipulated he be informed of the club's plans for the future by round 16.

But Brayshaw said the review committee had not yet ruled on Laidley's future.

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