Eels' high expectations cost Anderson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels' high expectations cost Anderson

By Steve Jancetic 27/09/2010 06:46:30 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson paid the price for overachieving in guiding the Eels to last year's NRL grand final with chief executive Paul Osborne admitting the sacked coach failed to deliver on high expectations.

Anderson had the final year of his contract terminated following an extraordinary meeting of the Eels board on Monday night, the club not satisfied with a 12th place finish after being installed as premiership favourites before a ball had been kicked.

"The thing you need to remember is that yeah we made the grand final last year but we recruited better, we had a better playing roster, and we finished 12th," Osborne said.

"I don't know that we were in the top eight more than three or four times and our form was poor and we didn't develop as well as we expected so unfortunately he paid the price.

"There was an expectation."

Melbourne assistant and New Zealand Test coach Stephen Kearney, along with former Australian Test coach Ricky Stuart, are the leading candidates for the job.

"There's been a few people linked - obviously Kearney's someone that we'd like to have a talk to," Osborne said.

The Eels boss denied Kearney had the inside running thanks to a perceived relationship with Parramatta board member Glen Duncan.

Duncan is chief executive of Eels major sponsor Pirtek, who also sponsored the Kiwi Test side Kearney was in charge of during their triumphant 2008 World Cup campaign.

"Pirtek sponsored them in the World Cup but Glen met him once," Osborne said of the relationship.

The Eels were destabilised by talk over Anderson's future throughout their inconsistent 2010 campaign, with co-captain Nathan Hindmarsh seeking assurances from club officials last month that Anderson would be at the helm in 2011.

"He'll be around next year," Hindmarsh told reporters on August 28.

"I've been given that assurance from people within the club. He'd want to be here next year, put it that way."

But a review of the coaching operation ultimately put paid to Anderson, with the club forced to decide whether to commit to him long-term or head in a different direction.

Osborne admitted some of the players had taken the announcement hard.

"Obviously he had a lot of support amongst the players - some are disappointed, others aren't."

With two grand finals on his resume from six years of coaching in the NRL, it is likely rugby league fans haven't seen the last of Anderson.

Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith, who gave Anderson his break in coaching with a reserve grade role at Parramatta in 1999, was one who expected to come up against his former protege again.

"A career coach never likes to see anyone get the sack, it's a horrible thing," Smith said.

"But it's also real and it happens - been there done that.

"Daniel will come out the other side, it won't be the end of him, there are other people in the game that rate him really highly."

Storm chief executive Ron Gauci said he had yet to hear from Kearney, but said the club would not stand in his way should he seek a release from his commitment with the club.

"If Steve wants to come to us with a special request, he's been a very long and loyal servant to the club, we wouldn't want to hold him back if the circumstances were right," Gauci said.

"There's no question he'll be a successful senior coach at some time."

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