Former champion lashes out after coach leaves side high and dry.
Former Parramatta halfback Peter Sterling has hit out at Ricky Stuart’s handling of his departure from the club after just one season in charge.
Stuart made the controversial move to the Canberra Raiders earlier this week despite still having two years left on his contract at the Eels.
Stuart said he needed to clean out the playing roster and start fresh and got rid of 11 first grade players in order to create cap room to sign overseas stars and Corey Norman from the Brisbane Broncos.
However, several stars have get-out clauses in their contracts that stipulate they can leave the club if Stuart is not in charge, putting the last-placed Eels for season 2013 under even more pressure.
For Sterling, all of this adds up to Stuart being more transparent than he has been to explain why he did not get along with the board and why he is making the move.
“There are two sides to every story and obviously Ricky is coming from his side and once you bring family into it, especially the situation with his daughter, it is very difficult to argue with that,” Sterling said.
“But he also did post-script that by saying that it was the best decision for his coaching future as well.
“As a Parramatta supporter on the other side Ricky came and there was going to be a rehabilitation job on Parramatta, which is desperately needed and this was the first (year) of a longer term process.
“So for that to finish under his watch after 12 months is extremely disappointing.
“I think they have to start again.
“Someone else has to come in now and they will have their own ideas and their own aims. That is pretty tough.
“In some ways it has been a wasted year unless Ricky can come out and tell us how it hasn’t been wasted?
“There had to be a turnover in personnel and that would have happened under anybody and maybe from the outside we are not seeing improvements on the inside.
“I’d like Ricky to come out and say why it hasn’t been a wasted 12 months for the club and for the players and for the fans.”
Sterling said the Eels could do much worse than signing outgoing North Queensland Cowboys coach Neil Henry, who has been let go by the club despite getting the side into the finals after a stunning late season surge.