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Stuart out to eliminate Raiders dramas

New Canberra coach Ricky Stuart says his communication with players will be the key factor in eliminating the troubled NRL club's off-field behavioural problems.
Stuart out to eliminate Raiders dramas
by AAP

By David Barbeler

CANBERRA, Sept 16 AAP - New Canberra coach Ricky Stuart says his communication with players will be the key factor in eliminating the troubled NRL club's off-field behavioural problems.

While Stuart admits he has a reputation for a hardline approach, he says he must communicate well with his players if the Raiders are to bounce back strongly from a 2013 season dogged by controveries and sackings.

The Raiders were tracking for a top-eight finish in 2013 before losing their final six games of the regular season.

The defeats coincided with the sacking of former coach David Furner and troubled star Blake Ferguson, while winger Sandor Earl was suspended after making admissions to the ASADA anti-doping investigation and star fullback Josh Dugan was sacked for off-field indiscretions earlier in the year.

Stuart, who left repeat wooden spooners Parramatta on Thursday after just one season and with two years left on his contract, said that barring Cronulla, the teams remaining in the NRL finals series have all had seasons without too much off-field drama.

"It's healthy towards your future success, trying to eliminate as much as you can in regards to off-field dramas and discipline problems," said Stuart, addressing a media conference at the club on Monday to formally announce his three-year deal with the Raiders.

"That's important for all of us to buy into."

Asked if he was going to take a more hardline approach towards players' off-field discipline, Stuart replied he would only ever aim to be fair.

"I'm always seen to be the one with a hardline approach.

"I'd like people to see or know that there's a lot of work that goes on behind the scene in regards to the welfare and care of the players," he said.

"Sometimes what's said behind closed doors and the cuddle you can give a player is actually a big part of the player growing up and maturing."




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