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Brian smith resigns

yeah i saw this, it was going to happen anyway. If the eels were winning at the start of the season he would have stayed, but i think the team having meetings and training sessions without smith kind of gave it away that the team was not happy with smiths decision to leave and the way it was announced.

i think the eels and the knights should just swap coaches now. that way everything will be in place next year.

but alas, the nights are 3rd on the table and are playing decent rugby, while being 7-3 and the eels lying 3rd to last at 2-7. contrasting seasons to day with one of the eels wins a big one over the knights.
Drunk Eels have too much, Smith has enough
16 May 2006 
Sydney Morning Herald

Brian Smith quit as Parramatta coach yesterday, saying he was no longer the man to lead the Eels out of trouble - on a day when two of his star players were found to have been drinking at a local hotel before a scheduled pool recovery session.

It is understood halfback Tim Smith turned up to the session affected by alcohol and was sent home, while hooker Mark Riddell did not turn up at all. Eels chief executive Denis Fitzgerald said last night the pair faced an inquiry.

"I've heard second-hand that they were intoxicated," Fitzgerald said. "The matter will be investigated tomorrow."

It is anticipated the pair will be disciplined by the club, although Fitzgerald refused to speculate. Whether the incident involving the two players was the final straw that convinced Smith to resign is not clear. He made no mention of it at a media conference outside Parramatta Stadium to announce his departure. Asked if there was a connection, Fitzgerald said: "As far as I'm aware, the two matters are unrelated."

Sources claimed Smith had been thinking of resigning for the past week or two.

The Eels board met last night and installed Jason Taylor as caretaker coach for the rest of the season. Taylor, who coached Parramatta's Premier League side to win last year's competition, is leaving the club himself at the end of the season to join South Sydney's coaching staff.

Smith explained he had been worn down by the increasingly difficult task in his 10th year at the club. His resignation came the day after after the Eels slumped to yet another loss, this time a 22-18 defeat by the Bulldogs, which left last year's minor premiers with a record of just two wins and seven losses.

"I have asked questions of the players and staff every day about their level of commitment and whether they have got the energy and drive to do a tough job," Smith said. "I asked that question of myself this morning and the answer was no.

"Time was running out and something needs to happen very quickly - and I don't think I'm the one any longer who can lead the club out of the situation they are in. You can't expect others to put in 100 per cent if you can't put it in yourself.

"There are some tough things that need to be done in the club right now. The situation has been tough all season, given the circumstances of my whole future."

Smith was referring to the fact Parramatta's management told him before the season began that they would not be renewing his contract when it ran out at the end of the season. The Eels subsequently signed Newcastle coach Michael Hagan to take over next year while Smith signed to take over at the Knights.

Smith said it had been difficult for him to tell his players he had resigned less than halfway through the season.

He said he and Parramatta star Nathan Hindmarsh, who yesterday went into camp with the NSW team for State of Origin I, had spoken in what Smith described as an emotional phone conversation.

"I had a lengthy discussion with Nathan Hindmarsh. I don't intend to drop out of the lives of these guys. I'll still have contact with a lot of them," Smith said. "I'm very sad. I have dedicated all of my life and energy to Parramatta for 10 years. I've loved every minute of the time. I've made a lot of friendships and I've got a lot of respect for the players."

Smith said he believed Parramatta could still regroup this season, make the finals and compete for the ***le. He said he would now have a break before getting ready to take over at Newcastle.

"I've been coaching non-stop from winter to winter and I've never had more than three to four weeks off at a time," Smith said. "There are some benefits to recharging my batteries, even for someone who loves what I do. I'm tired at the moment. Close friends have told me I looked tired in the past week.

"There is a lot of emotion in the way I approach coaching and I've got nothing but thanks for all the people who have helped me."

Smith said that although his ambition of winning a premiership with the Eels had not been realised, he was still proud of what he had achieved at the club over the past decade.

Fitzgerald said Smith had done "a very good job as coach, sometimes under very difficult circumstances".


Jason Taylor new Parramatta Coach
Eels coach sends warning by dropping duo
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 5:44 PM

Jason Taylor dropped misbehaving stars Tim Smith and Mark Riddell in his first act as Parramatta's caretaker coach and warned teammates faced a similar fate if their attitude didn't improve.

Riddell and Smith also copped $5000 fines from the NRL club, having turned up intoxicated to Monday afternoon's rehabilitation session, just hours before coach Brian Smith's dramatic resignation.

Taylor admitted the situation created by the club's decision to announce before the season that Smith would be replaced by Newcastle's Michael Hagan next year had been "enormously distracting for the players".

But he made it clear he wouldn't accept it as an excuse for players not putting in fully at training, as he believed had been the case.

"So far this season at this club we've been worrying too much about what's been happening next year," former assistant Taylor said.

"I don't think discipline is slipping but ... some of the players have gotten away with doing a little bit less than what they've done in the past and blaming other reasons for it.

"The coaching situation that has been going on here all year has been enormously distracting for the players ... (but) to use that as an excuse to not be training as hard as you could be, I don't think that's fair.

"All I'm asking as a club and as players, that they get back to working as hard as they can to be the best player they can."

Already without injured captain Nathan Cayless and NSW Origin pair Nathan Hindmarsh and Timana Tahu for Friday night's match against Penrith, Taylor made good on a promise to give some of his Premier League stars a chance in the top grade.

He dropped winger Matt Petersen and promoted debutant Jarryd Hayne, Luke O'Dwyer, Jeremy Smith, Zeb Taia, Josh Cordoba and Daniel Wagon.

While the players won't be allowed to use the coaching saga as an excuse for continued poor performances, Taylor admitted it got the best of Smith.

"I know that he was trying as hard as he could but the situation was getting the better of him," said Taylor, who was given Smith's blessing to take over.

"He was giving it every bit of energy he had, but because there was so much other stuff going on, so many distractions, his 100 per cent (effort) probably wasn't good enough."

Parramatta CEO Denis Fitzgerald fined halfback Smith and hooker Ridddell after an investigation into their behaviour on Monday, the day after a loss to the Bulldogs that took the Eels' season record to 2-7.

"We did find that they had misbehaved and were intoxicated yesterday during the day," said Fitzgerald.

"They were also guilty of unruly behavior as part of that."

Riddell and Smith apologised in a short statement but did not field questions from reporters.

"I just want to apologise first and foremost for bringing the club into disrepute," Riddell said.

"I would also like to apologise to my family, my teammates, the staff here at Parramatta, the supporters of our club, rugby league in general and the public."

Smith added: "I just want to apologise for my behaviour yesterday ... I'm very, very sorry for my actions."

Eels CEO Denis Fitzgerald denied the club was in crisis and denied Smith's resignation was linked to the incident.

"I see this as a challenge, and I've been through many challenges in the 28 years I've been here," Fitzgerald said.

"We've got a very stable club generally and I see no reason why we won't get over this hurdle and move on."

Meanwhile Newcastle chief executive Ken Conway denied Smith's resignation was a cause for concern for his club.

"It won't change our relationship for the rest of this year with Michael (Hagan) or Brian," he said.

"As Parramatta are consulting Michael about retention issues we've been consulting Brian, we only have a handful of players off contract this year, so it's not a major issue."



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