NSW chief rings the changes on Blues

“I fully respect that the NSW Rugby League wants to make a decision and get on with this. So what I’m saying is, the answer’s no” … Phil Gould.NSW Rugby League boss Geoff Carr will personally phone every coach who has been linked with the vacant Blues position to gauge their interest in the job – including those contracted to NRL clubs.
Nanjing Night Net

It is the clearest indication yet that officials are prepared to consider offering the job to a club coach and, for the first time, officially puts the Bulldogs’ Des Hasler in the frame.

It also came as the most successful NSW coach, Phil Gould, questioned the model which prevents NRL coaches from being put forward as candidates.

Gould said he held discussions yesterday with NSW board members David Trodden and Ray Dib, indicating he could not take the job. However, he has still left the door ajar, telling the Herald last night: ”If you want a decision today, the decision is no; I just haven’t got the time. But I don’t know what my life’s going to look like in 12 months time, around job opportunities and work in the media or at the Panthers or wherever.

”If you were to come back at Christmas time, my life might look very different. But I can’t make a commitment today, and I fully respect that the NSW Rugby League wants to make a decision and get on with this. So what I’m saying is, the answer’s no.”

Gould echoed those sentiments during talks with Trodden and Dib, which coincided with the ARL Commission’s meeting with officials from the four western Sydney clubs. Trodden and Dib are chairmen of Wests Tigers and the

Bulldogs respectively. ”I spoke to them [yesterday] about Origin,” Gould said. ”[Chairman] John Chalk had rung me on Monday, and he seemed to think they weren’t in any great hurry, but I think at the board meeting on Tuesday, it was suggested someone approach me.

”I let them know where it stood. They took it all on board. At the end of the day, they’ve got to get on with it and find a coach.”

Carr is leading that search. He said last night he would phone all the candidates whose names had been linked to the position, and create a shortlist based on who expressed an interest in the role – vacated by the new Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart. ”I’ll be ringing them all personally and reporting back to the board,” Carr said.

Asked if that included NRL coaches, he said: ”It includes everybody. Ricky would have been an NRL coach [and the NSW coach], and he had the job. I just want to win it. But that’s not to say that the board will decide to change the policy.”

A report commissioned by the NSWRL and compiled by former Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan had recommended the Blues employ a full-time coach in an attempt to halt Queensland’s dominance. On the back of that report, Stuart was hired, but now he has signed with Parramatta, and withdrawn from the NSW position, Blues officials are in a bind. Do they continue their stance and hire a relatively inexperienced coach, or do they perform something of a backflip – but one which might snare them a premiership winner?

Gould, who said he had found coaching the Blues easier while in charge of a club, believed the net needed to be cast over the best coaches, not just those with no club links. ”I’m not telling the NSW Rugby League who to pick, I’m just saying if the current model excludes coaches like Ricky Stuart, Des Hasler and John Cartwright, then I suggest the model needs to be looked at,” Gould said. ”The model was created to get Ricky into the job … they did a study and decided it had to be a non-club coach. [But] I don’t know if the model is right if those blokes can’t be considered.

”The other three or four candidates they’ve got – Laurie Daley, Brad Fittler, Trent Barrett, Jim Dymock – these are all non-NRL coaches. I’m just saying it’s a huge ask on those boys, to be thrown into that sort of arena. It’s a pretty daunting exercise.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.