The Canberra Raiders have released a statement today confirming that they are presently negotiating with Ricky Stuart to be the club’s coach for the 2014 season and beyond.
As a long time Canberra Raiders fan I have a simple question: why?
Why is the Canberra Raiders chasing a coach who:
· Presided over a team that only won 5 games in NRL season 2013.
· Has had numerous conduct issues over his time as a coach.
· At the last two clubs he led presided over an exodus of players and then left before seeing out the job he started.
I understand Stuart’s keenness to move and I understand that he is a legend of the club. Is being a legend of the club enough though? Better put: if Stuart was not a legend of the club would he be in the running for this coaching role? Given his coaching record of recent times I would hazard a guess that he would not be.
In a season where player behaviour, management ill-discipline and poor on field results have been the stories of the Raiders season they needed to get the decision on the new coach correct and that coach had to be a strong manager of men who has a record of winning or, of at least, creating a disciplined and winning culture. I see no evidence to suggest that Stuart fits that category.
I see no argument for Stuart’s ascension to the role of coach of the Raiders but for the fact that he is a legend of the club. In a field that includes Neil Henry and Kevin Walters among others he is not the strongest candidate.
All of the foregoing said, as it seems certain he will be the next coach of the Raiders I am left with the hope that Stuart can coach the Raiders to victory next season. If he does not then it is going to be another long season for those who follow the “Green Machine”.