Raiders CEO Don Furner. Photo: Colleen Petch
Canberra CEO Don Furner will renew a call for the NRL to provide a discount under the salary cap for clubs that develop their own junior players.
His younger brother David Furner became the first Raiders coach to be axed in 32 seasons on Tuesday, adding to a tumultuous year for the club.
While star fullback Josh Dugan was sacked at the beginning of the season for an off-field indiscretion, the playing group became frustrated at David Furner’s refusal to axe troubled centre Blake Ferguson despite numerous misdemeanours.
The club struggles to prevent poaching of their best junior talent from teams in the bigger cities, which resulted in a lack of replacement options for Ferguson.
It has been acknowledged by Raiders board members that David Furner’s decision to stand by Ferguson partly led to his downfall.
Don Furner expressed frustration on Big Sports Breakfast on Wednesday at the difficulties faced in retaining suitable players.
‘‘We are in the top one or two developers of talent in the game, and there’s a lot of good young tough kids in the country we attract,’’ Don Furner said.
‘‘We’ve got a great development system, the hard part is making sure we keep them.’’
He said he’d be putting forward a salary cap proposal to the NRL where clubs that develop junior talent get a discount.
‘‘It has to happen to have an incentive to develop your own players,’’ Don Furner said.
‘‘Otherwise we could be like other clubs and just say we’re not going to worry about putting money into junior development and just buy them when they’re 21 or 23. There are clubs that do that.’’