I have written fulsomely on this blog about the position of Ricky Stuart as coach of the Canberra Raiders. In the aftermath of another appalling display be the Raiders yesterday Stuart made the following comments in his press conference:
“Losing two Origin players put us in this rut,” Stuart said.
“We are in a position and they can jump into us and bag us for what it is.
“(But) until I get Origin players in, it’s not going to change and that’s my job. I’ve got to cut to the chase and be fair dinkum.
“Until we grow our own, our fans are going to have to stick solid. I’m getting sick of it and fed-up with give you one-line answers. “As much as it will sound like I’m making excuses, I’m telling it exactly how it is.”
Glossing over the obvious contradiction between Stuart’s alleged need to get Origin players in and the need for the Raiders to “grow our own”, I have to say that this statement from Stuart only goes to enhance my personal call for his removal from the club.
Here are 3 reasons why:
- Ricky Stuart is getting fed up with giving the press one line answers? How about being fed up with the way the team is performing Ricky and actually having a plan to rectify the situation. Week after week our proud jersey is on the field but the players filling it look bereft of direction and a game plan: that is the coaches job and Stuart is not doing it.
- Josh Dugan was removed from the club on 14 March 2013 for numerous breaches of his contract the last which was encapsulated by his open defiance of the then coach. Frankly, he was a cancer on the club. Blake Ferguson was removed from the club on 6 September 2013 having been suspended since 17 June 2013 after being charged with indecent assault (a charge on which he was later found guilty). Before their removal from the club Messrs Dugan and Ferguson had played a grand total of four State of Origin games between them. Can anyone cogently argue that: a. these players are irreplaceable and b. the removal of such badly behaved players from the club culture was not a good thing? I certainly can not!
- Stuart now seems to be suggesting that until he can attract State of Origin standard talent to the club the club is destined to have seasons like this. I don’t know about you but if I was one of the plethora of players under contract to the club for 2015 I would be reading that comment this morning over my recovery breakfast and wondering “well what about me?”. Clearly Stuart has no faith in the players he has to get the job done otherwise why would he state that he needs to attract Origin standard players to win?
I appreciate Ricky asking me, as a Raiders fan, to “stick solid”. Thank you for asking to do something that I have done since I was 8 years old and first followed the lime green.
Now I ask Ricky Stuart to do something for the fans: leave. I ask this because, by his own statements, he has no faith in our current crop of players and is blaming the current state of affairs on the dismissal of two of the worst behaved players in recent memory from the club. This mindset is NOT what the Canberra Raiders need and for the good of the club Ricky Stuart can not remain in control.