Sacked Joyce says Hawks were out to ‘get’ him

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

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.

of­fen­sive

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.

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