Big league rugby champion Phil Gould has revealed the Cronulla Sharks are ‘serious’ about landing a trio of superstar coaches made up of Roosters assistant Craig Fitzgibbon, assistant Penrith Cameron Ciraldo and Storm Coach Craig Bellamy.
The Sharks are currently in the midst of a standoff with current coach John Morris, who is out of contract at the end of the season, and has held a 90 minute crisis meeting Monday after reports linking the club to Fitzgibbon have emerged the weekend.
While Morris himself described the reunion as “encouraging,” he found himself without a direct answer on his future, with Gould attributing reluctance to the Sharks’ desire to form a dream coaching team.
According to a Sydney Morning Herald Report, Fitzgibbon would take on the role of Cronulla’s head coach, while Ciraldo would be his assistant. Bellamy, a three-time award-winning Storm coach, would oversee the duo as director of coaching.
“I have personally spoken to almost everyone involved in this matter,” Gould told Nine’s. 100% Footy.
“They all say nothing has been decided yet.
“There was a meeting today between Sharks management and John Morris, to say that with all the speculation going on in the media this weekend, we have to get this to a head.
“They told John Morris he was still a candidate for this job.
“However, they admitted that they had a significant interest in Craig Fitzgibbon and Cameron Ciraldo.
“They remain with significant interest in Craig Bellamy as director of coaching and overseeing everything at the club.
“And they wouldn’t deny that they would do all three and that Fitzgibbon, Ciraldo and Bellamy would all be at the club at the same time, either.
“I said, ‘It’s a big package,’ and they said, ‘Yeah. We are very serious “.”
It has been difficult for a number of Sharks players and fans alike as Morris has led the club to back-to-back final appearances since taking over from Shane Flanagan at the start of the 2019 season.
Club veteran Aaron Woods said last week that Cronulla would struggle to re-sign and attract players if the board did not come to a decision quickly.
Cronulla legend Paul Gallen, a close friend of Morris, has urged his former team to make a decision as soon as possible so as not to miss their window to recruit players to the market.
“If I were John Morris I would say, ‘Support me or send me back,’” said Gallen 100% Footy.
“They have to support him or move on. I want to see a decision made as soon as possible for the Sharks fans, for the Sharks as a club and for the players.”
“The first thing you want to know when you go to a club is who the coach is.
“The Sharks have over $ 3 million to spend next year. I know they’ve already missed Matt Burton because he didn’t know who the coach would be, that’s one of the reasons.
“They have to sign players. In the next six weeks, a lot of great players are going to be signed.
“We want to know who will be the coach.
“I’m sick of speculation. I’m sick of going on radio and television not knowing what’s going on.”