It was ultimately inevitable, but I doubt anyone would have predicted it to happen so quickly – but the New Zealand Warriors have made the decision to mutually part ways with coach Brian McClennan, after a poor run of games, in an overall poor season.
The removal of McClennan as Head Coach, will see Assistant Tony Iro take over the reins for the remaining two Warriors games, and although McClennan was contracted for next season – Warriors Chief Executive Wayne Scurrah said that an early release was a mutual decision by both parties.
If anyone is disappointed however, it is McClennan himself – with the former ESL coach giving it his all as an NRL coach, with the players unable to get the results needed to keep him in the top job.
â€œIt was exciting coming into this job with the Vodafone Warriors and everyone has worked so hard to try to get the performances and results we all expected of ourselves,â€ he said.
â€œNo one is more disappointed than me that things havenâ€™t worked out. I gave it my best shot. Iâ€™ve put my heart and soul into this and everyone has been terrific with their efforts.
â€œIâ€™ve always said I was driving the bus and I accept accountability. It stops with me.
â€œFor whatever reason, we havenâ€™t made the progress we all hoped for.
â€œIâ€™m thankful for the opportunity the Vodafone Warriors gave me and wish the club all the best for the future.â€
Scurrah added: â€œWe know how disappointed Brian is and weâ€™re equally disappointed for him and for everyone who is associated with the Vodafone Warriors.
â€œBrian is a person of wonderful character and integrity, heâ€™s so passionate about rugby league and heâ€™s put in an exceptional amount of time and effort into trying to turn the teamâ€™s fortunes around.
â€œHe brought a lot of energy to the club and made a fantastic contribution off the field with his interaction with sponsors, members and in the community.
â€œWe wish Brian and his family all the best for the future and thank him for his efforts.â€
For Scurrah and the Warriors, the key for them now, is to use this as a rebuilding phase to move forward into the future.
â€œConfidence is understandably low at a time like this following the results on the field from our NRL side,â€ he said.
â€œHowever, the club is in strong shape in all other areas. The Vodafone Junior Warriors are again performing well in the NYC while weâ€™ve had a season of significant growth in terms of our crowd numbers, sponsorship revenue and
membership numbers. Weâ€™ve also strengthened and developed our work in the community.
â€œOur resolve now is to rebuild, as we had to after a poor season in 2009. Weâ€™re confident we can recover quickly.â€