The sacking of Canberra Raiders’ coach David Furner has elicited some strong reaction from supporters, with much debate around the involvement of players in the decision.
Many fans have backed the move to sack Furner, who had a winning record of just 44 per cent, although a number have questioned the timing, three weeks out from the finals which the side is still a chance to make.
The 200-game player and coach of four and a half years was clearly a popular club-man, but his management of troublesome players raised questions over his leadership abilities, according to comments made on The Canberra Times website:
“Finally! Good bloke, great player, but not up to scratch as a coach,” - Capital
"Timing is terrible. Could have waited till end of the season.” - BeeAre
“They have been under performing for a long time. They develop great players but go nowhere as a team. I respect the club's stance on players like Dugan, Carney etc. Furner seems like a nice bloke but they need some new blood.” - Mal Melingakis
“A sad day for the Raiders. David Furner has been a great and loyal servant of the club. Unfortunately this had to happen. While Furner was very astute in his knowledge of the game and how it should be played, in my opinion he lacked the leadership skills need in this professional game.” - dozy, Fraser
“Sad day, but probably an inevitable outcome given results during David's time in charge. He was a great player and seems a really nice bloke, but just didn't have the ability to inspire it would seem.” - Brisraider, Queensland
“Strange time of the season to sack a coach. Maybe Canberra is seeking a boost from the 'new coach' syndrome.” - RobW
“I can't excuse the behaviour of many of the Canberra players of recent years. However, you must admit this has been coming. Canberra have unearthed some of the best young talent 2-3 years ago and should have been close to a top 4 side by now.” jmccar15
“I'm surprised by David Furner's sacking, but it had to come. Raiders' supporters have put up with persistent poor performances, player shenanigans and abysmal management over far too many seasons. Many supporters were ready to walk away. This decision may reverse that trend.” - John, Duffy
A number of fans have aimed fire at the players, but there has not been consensus on which players were at fault – the misbehaving ones or the ones who stood up for a change of leader.
“I hope the players will realise the enormity of the occasion of when they demanded the sacking of a man who has truly devoted his life, love and passion for this club. a man who did not use the reason of family health issues as an excuse for the form of his team, as many of the players in the club would have used in a hurry to hide their short comings. David Furner deserved to leave in a much different manner” - Maty
“What rubbish. It's not the coaching that's inconsistent it's the players. Get rid of the ill disciplined spoilt brats and keep Furner.” - Tutty
“If its true though that the players were sick of the way that Ferguson was getting preferential treatment and being spoon fed then id be annoyed also. Good on them for standing up for a moral victory. Saying that, if the players did this for the wrong reasons, then the club needs a major overhaul.” - Benny
There have also been calls for the club to use the Brumbies as a model for a club makeover:
“I sympathise with Dave Furner. Coaching is a tough job especially when some of the team behave like spoiled brats. Maybe some good may come of this. Just look how the Brumbies bounced back with a group of new young players mentored by experienced older players (Mowen etc) and a great coach (Jake) supported by Laurie Fisher. Could be the model to follow IMHO.” - Earthdog59
“Part of the problem has been addressed, but the board needs a complete clean out, as does the playing roster. But the new coach will just be an ex player, as per usual.
We need to do a brumbies and get somebody who is totally removed from the club and who can come in with a clean slate and get this club into a winning mind.” - orangeman
Twitter reactions reflected similar mixed feelings, with plenty of sympathy shown for the ousted coach.