David Shillington. Photo: Melissa Adams
Raiders prop David Shillington believes the players are professional enough to embrace new coach Ricky Stuart after their preferred choice, Andrew Dunemann, was overlooked.
Stuart announced on Wednesday night he would quit the Parramatta Eels, allowing the premiership-winning coach and player to accept a three-year deal to return to Canberra.
Raiders players supported interim coach Dunemann to take on the position full-time, but Shillington said the focus was on turning the club around under Stuart.
''There's only one way to react and that's to get on with the job,'' Shillington said on Thursday.
''While we wanted [Dunemann] to take over, we also respect the coaches with experience. We now need to get on with the job and give ourselves and the team the best chance to be a high-performing side.''
Dunemann was an assistant coach at the Raiders this year, stepping into the breach for the final three games when David Furner was sacked. Shillington compared Dunemann's coaching style to Trent Robinson and Michael Maguire, the two men behind premiership favourites the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney.
Robinson is in his first season in charge of the Roosters while Maguire is in his second at the Rabbitohs.
''Having that experience would be a great thing but, in saying that, we've seen young rookie coaches do a really good job in the last couple of years,'' Shillington said.
''Someone like Dunemann, we likened him to a Maguire and Robinson with his man-management skills. They were unproven coaches with a great work ethic and system in place at their clubs to help their clubs succeed.
''Dunemann had a great relationship with the whole squad, particular the young players.''
Raiders captain Terry Campese expected Stuart to ''shake things up'' and make his own mark on the team.
''We need someone who will come in and have a bit of everything,'' Campese said. ''Someone who the boys will want to play for and is going to shake things up a bit as well.''