Support: Fans voice their support for Shane Flanagan. Photo: Anthony Johnson Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan may have been stood down from his duties but he has still got his finger on the pulse at the besieged club as this image shows. Photo: Channel Seven
The day after the Sharks’ emotion-charged 12-10 defeat of Gold Coast on Sunday night, Flanagan caught up with captain Paul Gallen, injured centre Ben Pomeroy and sacked trainer Mark Noakes at a Caringbah cafe. Photo: Channel Seven
He may have been stood down but suspended Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan will continue his duties as coach in an unofficial capacity.
Fairfax Media understands Flanagan is refusing to let go of the team he assembled and is determined to ensure the on-field success of the club in turmoil.
While Peter Sharp has been given the tag of interim coach, Flanagan will still be in constant contact with the staff and players about how he wants the side to prepare and play.
Sharp and Flanagan have spoken every day since the board suspended the coach and sacked doctor David Givney, football manager Darren Mooney, physio Konrad Schultz and head trainer Mark Noakes.
From home, Flanagan will analyse video and devise game plans.
In partnership with Mooney, he has worked around the clock for the past two seasons to compile a star-studded side.
A shortage of staff due to a lack of finances has seen Flanagan and Mooney take on extra responsibilities, including attracting corporate sponsorship and player recruitment. During the off-season Flanagan tiled the club’s gym floor.
While Mooney has been in hospital with stress, Flanagan isn’t going to let all his hard work go to waste. Even during Sunday night’s clash against Gold Coast, members of the staff in the box were on the phone to their former boss.
”He’s struggling, as you can imagine,” Sharp said. ”He wanted to be here tonight, not at home or wherever he is. He wanted to be coaching this side and he should’ve been.”
Sharp is one of only a few assistant coaches in the game with no interest of taking on a head coach’s role in the NRL. He is under no illusion as to whose football team he’s taken over.
”This is about Shane and what a great job he’s done,” Sharp said after Sunday’s 12-10 win against the Titans. ”Darren Mooney, Mark Noakes, Konrad Schultz and the doctor Dave Givney – it’s about them. Flanno and Mooney put this team together and have done a great job preparing them and that was the result tonight of Flanno’s hard work over the last couple of years.”
While Flanagan is highly regarded by the Sharks players, all the player agents contacted by Fairfax Media on Monday denied having clauses in their players’ contract allowing them to leave the Sharks if Flanagan wasn’t at the helm.
Paul Gallen, Todd Carney, Wade Graham, Beau Ryan, Chris Heighington, Michael Gordon, Jonathan Wright, John Morris, Jayson Bukuya, Matthew Wright, Ben Pomeroy, Nathan Gardner and Mark Taufua don’t have clauses in their contract relating to Flanagan.
Carney is off contract at the end of this season and isn’t expected to finalise any deal until the drug scandal plays out.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.