Monthly Archives:March 2019

David Parkin has revealed he sacked staff during his AFL coaching career over fears they were giving players illegal substances.

As the investigation into claims Essendon players were administered performance-enhancing drugs continues, with lawyers on Monday indicating players were unlikely to be interviewed by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority until late next month, Parkin has suggested drugs have been a long-time issue.

The four-time premiership coach began in the VFL-AFL at Hawthorn in 1977, spent time at Fitzroy and had two stints at Carlton, finishing with the Blues in 2000.

”You could employ someone who for fame or fortune reasons becomes the rogue operator, if you like, within your organisation,” Parkin said. ”I have been down that path, where we have got rid of people who have serviced the needs of players that I did know about – we changed them because they were not doing the job the way we expected them to do.”

Asked whether that had meant a staff member had been trying to give illegal substances to players, Parkin replied: ”Um – I am not really sure but there was some evidence to suggest that might be so and we weren’t prepared to take a risk that there might be somebody in the place that wasn’t operating all above board.”

Parkin spoke as a panellist on SBS television’s Insight, airing on Tuesday night. He was then asked by journalist Jenny Brockie whether that had meant he had ”smelt a rat”.

”No, it’s a vague thing, because of my position, and I am responsible, you can’t allow that, Jenny, to develop,” he said.

Parkin did not specify at which club or clubs he had sacked staff. He did not return calls on Monday.

Seated alongside former Essendon vice-captain Andrew Welsh and Port Adelaide sports scientist Darren Burgess, Parkin said sports scientists have become increasingly influential in clubs and felt the pressure on coaches to get an edge over competitors led to the temptation to bend the rules.

Parkin is the president of the AFL Coaches Association and understands what pressures the modern coach faces.

ASADA interviews of Essendon coaches and staff continue to be conducted, with lawyers confirming players’ interviews are to follow and are unlikely to be completed until May.

This, according to lawyers, means a final report is unlikely to be completed until the end of the AFL season, if not into October.

Welsh, who retired after the 2011 campaign, before controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank joined the Bombers, said the players had put their trust in the club.

”There [have] been supplements from when I was playing, they are a lot more advanced now, and the way they are taking them,” he said. ”But there were no players that raised any concerns when I spoke to them about it because you do put the trust in the club.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

The multimillionaire behind Perth’s NRL bid says he would welcome a relocated Cronulla franchise with open arms if the club folds in the Shire.

Tony Sage, the owner of the Perth Glory A-League club, is lobbying the ARL Commission for Perth to be given the next NRL license in an expanded competition. The state has not had a team since Perth Reds were axed in 1997.

While Sage’s initial talks with the league have been based around the formation of a franchise from scratch, the mining magnate has revealed he would be prepared to take over and relocate the Sharks.

”We would take them tomorrow, without a shadow of a doubt,” Sage said. ”We would pick them up and fast-track something here. It would work for the NRL, it would mean one less side in Sydney.

”I noted that [ARLC chief executive] David Smith recently said he wanted the NRL to be a truly national game and this would be an opportunity for that to happen. We would love to have them as the Perth Sharks. The interest over here would be phenomenal.”

There are fears that the latest crisis engulfing Cronulla could force them to close. The Sharks are one of the most cash-strapped clubs in the game, having operated without a chief executive for three years.

Up to 14 Sharks players are facing the prospect of being rubbed out for allegedly taking performance-enhancing substances, while four members of coach Shane Flanagan’s support staff have been sacked as the fallout continues.

Flanagan has also been stood down, while the NRL has had to step in to provide funding and direction to a club that has admitted to ”management failings”.

Sage has an affinity with the Sharks, having grown up in the Shire and played league at Port Hacking High School.

”You don’t just want to kick out a side like that and lose all of that history,” he said. ”I grew up as a Sharks supporter, I grew up in Port Hacking. I was a Sharks man through and through.”

A league team in Perth would have the added advantage of allowing games to be played during the day and beaming into the eastern states at prime time.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

Sacked Cronulla physiotherapist Konrad Schultz is holding out hope of being reinstated, claiming his reputation has been ”dragged through the mud” for no reason.

Schultz, general manager Darren Mooney, doctor David Givney and trainer Mark Noakes were all sacked for their role in the alleged administering of performance-enhancing substances to Sharks players, while coach Shane Flanagan has been stood down.

Schultz will meet with his legal team on Tuesday to consider his options after his sixth season with the club was abruptly terminated.

”I keep thinking it’s a bad dream and that I’ll wake up and it will be all right,” Schultz told Fairfax Media. ”To tell you the truth, I still want my job back and be reinstated. My name has been dragged through the mud … for no reason that I can see.

”Doc [Givney] and I keep asking ourselves, ‘What could we have done differently? What have we done wrong?’ We’re just really devastated.”

Schultz said ”confusion” and ”sadness” were the overwhelming emotions experienced by his family in the fallout. ”They’re pretty devastated, my wife is pretty angry as well,” he said. ”I’ve got a six, four and two-year old, so they’re wondering why daddy hasn’t got a job, things like that. I didn’t send [the eldest] to school today because the kids might mention it and he doesn’t need to deal with that.”

The Sydney University graduate, who is a member of the NSW Sports Physiotherapy Association Committee, fears he won’t work again in the NRL.

”Definitely. It’s what I love doing, I don’t think you could do it if you didn’t love it,” Schultz said.

”I watched the game with Flanno [on Monday] and it was great to see the boys get up. We still love all the players.

”We’re definitely very proud.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

Israel Folau, Sam Williams and Corey Norman are set to be among the biggest beneficiaries of Johnathan Thurston’s decision to play out his career in North Queensland after turning his back on up to an extra $1 million to remain at the Cowboys.

Thurston was keenly sought by both Canterbury and Penrith but the 29-year-old playmaker knocked back lucrative offers from both clubs to sign a four-year $4 million deal with the Cowboys.

The decision leaves the Bulldogs and Panthers cashed up to target other players and both clubs have been linked with Williams – the Canberra halfback, who is off contract at the end of this season.

Parramatta, who have an extra $500,000 per season to spend following Raiders forward Josh Papalii’s decision to renege on a four-year deal with the Eels, are also understood to be interested in Williams, along with St George Illawarra.

The Eels have already tabled an offer to Norman, who has been shifted away from his preferred five-eighth position to fullback as Brisbane try to accommodate Scott Prince in the halves.

Penrith and the Dragons have also been linked to Norman, who is in talks with the Broncos about his future.

However, the Bulldogs may be the biggest movers in the transfer market following strong speculation that they are chasing Folau – the former NRL and AFL star now playing rugby union for the Warratahs.

Folau is close friends with Canterbury stars Krisnan Inu and Tony Williams and his possible return to the NRL next season was a topic of conversation at the Bulldogs season launch three weeks ago.

Canterbury officials are understood to have spoken with Thurston and his manager Sam Ayoub last week and the Test five-eighth admitted he had ”a few little doubts” before deciding to stick with the Cowboys.

”There’s no doubt it was the toughest decision I’ve had to make career wise,” Thurston said of his choice. ”There was a fair bit knocked back to remain in Townsville, to stay at this club and potentially finish my career here.”

His partner is expecting their first child in June.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No … it’s a squirrel. Just as the Parramatta fullback began to rack up the frequent flyer points, the Hayne plane is on the verge of being grounded.

Jarryd Hayne is contemplating replacing his famous post-try celebration with the ”squirrel” dance synonymous with his NFL hero, Ray Lewis.

”The boys said after the game that I’m running too far away and they’re getting too tired chasing me,” Hayne said.

”I think I’m going to have to come up with something different.”

Hayne has been watching YouTube videos of the recently retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker that has had over a million hits since he last performed it in the Ravens’ Super Bowl triumph against the San Francisco 49ers.

But it’s not just Lewis’ dance moves that Hayne has been analysing in a bid to make his own.

The newly appointed co-captain, who admitted he still had a lot to learn when it came to firing up his troops, is using Lewis’ inspirational speeches to improve that aspect of his game.

”I’ve been watching a lot of Ray Lewis,” Hayne said. ”I really enjoy the American speakers, they are so passionate and emotional. When they speak you want to play for them. It’s something that I thought from day one, when I lead the team I want them to play for all of us. I think that sort of team spirit they’ve got and the way they mould a team … in the NFL there’s always that one person who pumps the team up and gets them in that zone.

”If you’ve watched any of Ray Lewis, just watching him you get goosebumps. I’ve showed it to a lot of friends and every time I message something like that they write back saying ‘goosebumps’. It’s something that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to emulate but it’s something I enjoy. It gets the team off to a good start.”

The Eels couldn’t have asked for a better start to their campaign under Ricky Stuart than the impressive 40-10 thumping of the Warriors at Parramatta Stadium last Saturday night. While some players sense when their side is poised for a big game, Hayne said he felt the opposite way leading into the opening-round clash.

”I was actually feeling awful,” he said. ”I said to Benny Smith, ‘How are you feeling?’ and he just said, ‘Mate, I’m so nervous’. Being a senior player you can muck around with the boys and tell them how you feel. Benny was nervous as and he looked at me and said, ‘How do you feel?’ and I said, ‘I feel crap’.

”It was hot, it was the first game, there’d been a big build-up.”

The Eels take on a depleted Canterbury at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night, but despite missing several key players, Hayne is expecting a tough contest.

”They’re very disciplined and to have a coach like Dessie Hasler is evident of that,” Hayne said. ”I’ve been speaking to a few of their boys a fair bit and finding out what he’s like, what’s training like.

”Tony [Williams] and Kris [Keating] and a couple of boys under his guard definitely say how hard it is and how intense it is. You know you are in for a hard task when you’ve got them, no matter who they’ve got.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.