NT News

Blues ditch Teague as his support dwindles

- SAM LANDSBERGE­R AND JON RALPH

DAVID Teague was sacked after losing the confidence of his senior players, with only 30 per cent of players and staff supporting him in confidenti­al surveys commission­ed by the club’s review.

The Blues yesterday finally sacked David Teague and pledged to adopt over 20 review recommenda­tions that centre around a harder edge at the club with a more balanced game-style.

While many of the club’s recommenda­tions will remain in house, the club’s findings laid bare a team that was poorly coached with Teague almost exclusivel­y on offence and unable to execute that game-plan.

Teague effectivel­y lost the backing of the playing group when he received support of only 30 per cent of the players and support staff interviewe­d by Matthew Pavlich, Geoff Walsh and Graham Lowe.

Teague had strong support from many of the younger players as well as those he recruited including Eddie Betts and Adam Saad, who were strong proponents of his coaching style. But despite their strong support the contents of the review and the overwhelmi­ng feedback from anonymous surveys played their part in his downfall.

The review process involved more than 90 interviews but also anonymous surveys for the playing group to assess their support.

The review’s findings regarding his capacity to influence players spoke of a disconnect between game plan and his ability to execute it with the players.

Chief executive Cain Liddle defended Teague’s relationsh­ip with captain Patrick Cripps but too many senior players believed they were regularly outcoached this year. Players were confused about their defensive responsibi­lities and the game plan as a club that sacked Brendon Bolton for a lack of offence then turfed Teague for the opposite problem.

Eventually the people power that won Teague the job after his incredible run as caretaker coach was not sustained by the playing group.

Teague drove into the club on Thursday to tell the playing group he had been sacked after two and a half years in the job. He had one more year to run on his contract.

President Luke Sayers confirmed the wide range of club and player feedback in the interview process, saying the decision to commission the review was not perfect but was certainly exhaustive.

The club has moved on assistant coach Dale Amos but CEO Cain Liddle and football boss Brad Lloyd will remain to implement changes to the club. Sayers said it would have been “irresponsi­ble” to ignore the advice and give Teague another 12 months.

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