Returning coach admits to “managerial failures” regarding doping scandal.
The club suspension issued to Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has been lifted, with the returning leader urging Sharks’ fans to get behind the team.
After reviewing his tenure as Sharks head coach through the first half of the 2011 season, the Cronulla board reinstated Flanagan to the top job immediately.
Under conditions of his return, both Flanagan and the club agreed to a number of new management practices regarding operations and responsibilities of him as the Sharks coach.
Flanagan said he understood the board’s reason behind his suspension, but added the club’s supporters have got a big part to play in helping the players focus on the task at hand.
“It has been a tough few weeks for all of us, but I now understand why I was stood down and why the board made the decisions it has,” Flanagan said at a press conference.
“There were management failures. We have agreed that there have to be changes in the way we work and the way we look after players.
“I just hope all of the fans can get behind this team, they had about 17,000 to the game against the Titans last weekend, so hopefully they can bring some friends along next time.”
Flanagan, who is expected to be back in charge of the side when they take on the New Zealand Warriors at Toyota Stadium, was stood down in the wake of the doping scandal that rocked the NRL on the eve of the season.
Other support staff who were sacked or suspended, including football general manager Darren Mooney, head trainer Mark Noakes, physiotherapist Konrad Schulz and long-serving team doctor Dave Givney, remain ostracised from the club.
However, Flanagan’s return to the coaching chair will come as a welcome relief for the players, who have publicly aired their views that he should be returned to the job.