Rugby League


Raiders' coaching options still open

Canberra's coaching merry-go-round may not have stopped spinning yet, after David Furner left the door open for a second assistant coach to join the ranks.

While new faces in the playing roster were minimal when the Raiders kicked off pre-season training on Friday, it was a different scenario for a coaching unit that has undergone an off-season facelift.

Andrew Dunemann has been promoted from the club's Toyota Cup team to take over as a first-grade assistant to Furner after the double departures of Justin Morgan and Andrew McFadden.

The Raiders will also have a video analyst for their premier side and the successful person for that newly created position will be announced early next week.

Furner said the addition of a video analyst meant a second assistant coach would not be essential, but he has not ruled out bringing someone in before the season kicks off in March.

''I'm not going to rush into anything,'' he said.


''What we've got planned at the moment and what's been put in place, the staff I've got can handle that.

''I'm going into my fifth year and a couple times we've had one assistant and one analyst.

''It's got to suit my coaching style and the coaching staff around me.''

Morgan - a former head coach with English club Hull KR - was let go by the Raiders after just one season, while McFadden was granted a release from the final year of his contract to pursue other opportunities.

He has been heavily linked to the vacant assistant coaching position with the Warriors, where he would be reunited with former Canberra mentor Matt Elliott.

''The Andrew McFadden one was his decision and we spoke at length,'' Furner said.

''I wasn't going to hold him back.

''He was looking at another opportunity and developing his coaching style.

''I spoke to 'Morgs' a good six weeks ago and [we are] just looking at a different style and different skill set. He understood where I was coming from and we left it at that.''

Dunemann was an assistant coach for the Newcastle Knights for two seasons before taking charge of the Raiders' under-20s team this year, steering them to the Toyota Cup grand final.

He has also tasted premiership success with the Northern Pride in the Queensland Cup.

Nigel Ashley-Jones has taken over as the club's strength and conditioning coach after an extensive career in England.