After missing out signing Josh Mansour, Kevin Proctor and having James Tedesco backflip on his decision to join the club, Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart written a press release.
The statement which was released via the clubs official web site reads:
Ricky Stuart Statement
The Canberra Raiders’ recent disappointing recruitment results will not alter or affect this club’s commitment to developing a successful football team in the future.
As the club’s head coach, I am fortunate to have such a strong and supportive board and management, an extremely talented and experienced coaching and high performance team and a wonderful group of players who want to be successful.
When I was chosen for this job – which I regard as one of the privileged coaching appointments in the NRL – I recognised, as did our board, that we needed to recruit players in key positions that would add the necessary strength around the players on our existing roster.
Despite the recent disappointments of losing players whom we had identified to fulfil these roles, I want to assure, in particular, our members and fans, stakeholders and the Canberra community that we will continue to push forward with an aggressive recruitment program that’s aimed at bringing deserved success to a great football club. These disappointments have only added to our resolve to achieve our goals.
We want players at the Raiders who share our vision and who will have pride in our jersey.
We have a clear and uncompromising plan to achieve the big picture and the Canberra Raiders will continue to seek to bring success to our organisation.
With the clubs playing like garbage, having lost its best young player in Anthony Milford to the Brisbane Broncos, and having thrown money at a number of targets and not signing one of them, the Raiders have some real issues.
Talk is cheap, and lets face it, there is a real stink about everything Ricky Stuart does as the moment.
The way he left the Parramatta Eels last year and the clubs subsequent turn around has been a big talking point so far this season.
That the Raiders went from an erratic team to one that is bloody terrible has people wondering what the hell Ricky Stuart does when he takes over a club.
Good players follow good coaches. A good coach can have far more impact on a club than even the best player in the world.
With most people in Rugby League feeling that Stuart isn’t a good coach based purely on his results, Canberra will struggle to attract top quality talent.
It also must be said that Canberra as a place is not the issue. This is a club that at one time had Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley, Brett Mullins, Bradley Clyde and Ricky Stuart himself all in the same team. Top players will play there, and the club will produce a lot of talent of its own, but the way the club is being managed and coached right now seems to leave a lot to be desired.
I feel really sorry for Raiders supporters. They have had some very lean years and have put up with a number of terrible coaches at their club. Hopefully it all turns around for them, but while Ricky Stuart is there, its hard to see how it will.