Dockers' coach Connolly 'could go soon' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers' coach Connolly 'could go soon'

By Sam Lienert 16/07/2007 04:55:19 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle president Rick Hart has refused to guarantee coach Chris Connolly will see out the season, but says no immediate decision will be made, as the Dockers cling desperately to a faint hope of making the AFL finals.

Connolly, who has coached the club since 2002, seems almost certain to end his reign this year after Fremantle's four-point loss to the Kangaroos at Subiaco on Sunday.

That defeat left the Dockers on a 6-9 record, needing to win at least six of their remaining seven matches to qualify for the finals.

Hart last month said Connolly, who is in the final year of a contract, would be "in dangerous territory" if the club missed the finals and he reinforced that view on Monday.

"What I said was it would be very hard for him if we didn't get in the finals," Hart told AAP.

"You don't have to be a Rhodes scholar to work out that will be a big part of it."

He refused to speculate on whether the club would make a decision on Connolly as soon as they were out of finals contention, which could happen within a fortnight.

The Dockers face Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on Saturday and top-placed Geelong at Subiaco a week later.

Losses in both games would kill their chances.

"We'll work that out when the time comes," Hart said of how the club would react to that scenario.

"We don't want any distractions at the moment.

"We're still in there fighting for our life, the guys will be giving it their best shot."

Hart would not confirm a report that Connolly has a clause written into his contract stating he can not be sacked while the club remains in mathematical contention for the finals.

There is a school of thought that with Melbourne having already started the hunt for a new coach, the Dockers would be better off making a move sooner rather than later if they intend to make a change.

But Hart said the prospect of the Demons, or perhaps other clubs, snapping up the best candidates while the Dockers deliberated over Connolly's future was not a concern.

"Melbourne are doing what they want to do, my belief is that we'll undertake our process at the end of the season," he said.

"Anyone that's in line for Melbourne's position will be able to read through the lines that there may be a position at Fremantle as well."

However, he said that was not a guarantee that Connolly would stay at the helm for the rest of this season.

"I'm not saying that at all, what I'm saying is we won't be making a decision right now," he said.

With Connolly's time at the Dockers seemingly nearly up, one intriguing possibility is that he and ex-Melbourne coach Neale Daniher could end up swapping positions.

Daniher, who has declared he wants to coach again, is a former Dockers assistant coach, while Connolly is a former Melbourne player and life member.

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