The New Zealand Warriors today announced that
they have sacked head coach Matthew Elliott has resigned following the side’s 37 – 6 loss to the Cronulla Sharks at the weekend as the club aims to move in a new direction where they won’t aim for excellence or to try and win the NRL.
Warrior’s CEO Wayne Scurrah made the announcement this morning in the hope that New Zealand’s media contingent would be fully deployed in Wellington to monitor the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. However, on finding this wasn’t the case, especially as Australian media were reporting Elliott’s
sacking resignation last night, Scurrah was forced to front reporters.
“On reflection, we told Matt that his plans to make the club a regular post-season and premiership contender were simply too lofty for us to achieve,” Scurrah told reporters at Mt Smart Stadium. “We let Matt know that we’d much prefer the lower profile and reduced expectations that come from us hyping up the side’s prospects but never actually performing well.
“Frankly, the idea of living up to expectations scares the shit out of the Board and I and we’re simply not prepared to go there.”
Assistant coach Andrew McFadden will take over as acting-head coach for the remainder of the 2014 season and said he was excited about “the challenge of ensuring a mid-table finish” for the club.
“At the end of the day we’ll get more buy-in from the fans if we’re a mid-table club that threatens to make the play-offs rather than ever being one of the big boys,” McFadden said at his inaugural meet and great with the press. “There’s nothing more Kiwi than celebrating mediocrity, and that’s precisely the direction that Sir Owen Glenn and Eric Watson want to take us in. Don’t aim too high and run the risk of becoming a tall poppy that people will criticise.”
For his part, departing coach Elliott was bullish about his future prospects.
“Mate, you have no idea how relieved I am to be leaving. It’ll be nice to go someplace where they’ve actually heard of the words ‘aspiration’, ‘winning’ and ‘dedication’.”