By STEVE MASCORD
BRAD Fittler has responded to suggestions from ARLC chairman John Grant it was City Origin’s fault stars didn’t want to play for them.
City coach Fittler lost a dozen players including Matt Moylan, James Tedesco, Adam Reynolds, Lachlan Coote, Blake Austin and Josh Reynolds from the side that beat Country 44-30 in Tamworth last week.
And after Fittler hit out at the NRL for failing to be stronger, Grant appeared to suggest it was City’s problem that no-one wanted to play for them.
Grant told a media conference last Saturday: “There’s not a lot of players who are not going to play for Country because they want to play for Country. I think that reflects on City.”
It’s a comment that discounts the clause in the standard NRL playing contract players must be available for representative football, and appears to support players picking and choosing.
“Coaches have such a huge job – you’ve got to take it out of their hands,” said Fittler.
“To say blokes like Adam Reynolds don’t want to play and hopefully get a shot at Origin … they’re highly persuaded by coaches in the case of a lot of them.
“The big thing, I suppose .. there wouldn’t be much parental pressure (for City).
“Country blokes get taken out of the the country and you get guys like Boyd Cordner who are very passionate about playing for them.
“Meanwhile, on the City side, there seems to be very little argument. There would be three million people in Sydney who wouldn’t give a shit.
“Our league reflects that. The Roosters, who develop that really busy area, they get one development officer … compared to the Swans, the Waratahs who have 30..
“If the league helped out with the City more, we might be able to build that same sort of morale.”
By STEVE MASCORD