nib Newcastle Knights Head Coach Nathan Brown and Wests Group CEO Philip Gardner have faced the media following their mutual decision to part ways at the end of the 2019 season, with Gardner discussing the process of finding a new coach in 2020.
Gardner was quick to point out that the Club was wasting no time in starting the search for a new head coach.
“We started that process on Monday night,” Gardner said.
“Now that the coach has allowed us to signal the market, we’ll see what comes out of it.
“I’ve certainly been active since Monday, from 3:30 when the coach told me.”
With many potential names already being thrown around, Gardner insisted the club had not spoken to anybody yet.
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“There’s a lot of good people out there, but I’ve not spoken to anyone yet,” he said.
“We’ll start drawing up a shortlist now, and we’ll get across that as quickly as we can.”
Gardner said the players and fans would play a crucial role in the recruitment of the new head coach.
“I’ve certainly spoken to players since Nathan made his decision…and they’ll certainly play a part in that (finding a new coach),” he said.
“It’ll be a real consensus decision.
“This club belongs to the fans.”
Gardner was full of praise for the unselfishness of his current coach, and didn’t question the timing of Brown’s decision.
“He’s given us the opportunity to get a coach in place for the pre-season,” he said.
“That’s so important in rugby league, how you train in the pre-season and how you prepare.
“We now have to pivot depending on who the new coach is going to be, to get the absolute best out of the pre-season.
“It’s just a testament to how unselfish Nathan is.”
With the search for a new coach well on the way, Gardner couldn’t help but reflect on the impact Brown has had on the club.
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“Wherever Nathan goes in his life, he’ll find great success,” Gardner said.
“He treats people well, he’s a genuinely wonderful human being and we are very sorry to see him go.”