Sacked Joyce says Hawks were out to ‘get’ him
BITTERex-Wollongong coach Brendan Joyce has rejected the NBL club’s reasons behind his sacking, stating his belief yesterday the Hawks had a clear agenda to end his long stint on the sidelines.
Joyce, who was midway through his 12th season at the club, was sacked on Thursday after the Hawks board claimed he failed to assure it he would curb what it labelled ‘unsatisfactory behaviour and language’.
Wollongong chief executive Paul Young said yesterday ideally the club wanted Joyce to remain in the role and was ‘astonished’ he didn’t provide the necessary assurances it was seeking.
But, with speculation building that former Australian junior coach Rob Beveridge was poised to take over at the Hawks, Joyce rejected those claims yesterday.
Joyce said he notified the club nine days ago he would stick to the NBL’s code of conduct, which includes a phrase that ‘offensive conduct, both on and off the court, will not be tolerated’.
The club insisted on Thursday there were no hidden agendas, but Joyce doesn’t believe that was the case.
‘‘I cannot leave unchallenged Hawks CEO Paul Young’s and Hawks acting chairman Bob Elvy’s state- ments that the club did not want me to go and that assurances in relation to my behaviour were not forthcoming,’’ Joyce said in a written statement.
‘‘On 20 December 2006 the club was notified in writing that my company would ensure my adherence to the NBL code of conduct.
‘‘I find it difficult to conclude other than that there was nothing I could do or say to the board of the club which would move it away from the desire to get rid of me.’’
Joyce said he offered to leave at the end of the season, an offer which was rejected, before concluding by saying he ‘will always wish the Hawks well’.
Beveridge has already been receiving phone calls from players and coaches around the country congratulating him on inheriting the vacant position, but both he and the club insist a decision has not been made.