Joined: 29 Sep 2007
|Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:40 pm Post subject: Shane Richardson - 2106
|Hot or Not: Souths Administrator Shane Richardson Built Rabbitohs Up Once, He Can Rebuild Them Again
by Dan Walsh
THE man charged with halting Souths slide down a rugby league rabbit hole of discontent and ill-discipline didn’t step off a plane from Heathrow last November.
‘Salvation’ Sam Burgess might be back in downtown Redfern on what’s believed to be a $1.5 million a year deal.
But the heavy hitter the Bunnies and Michael Maguire need most right now returned in mid-January, understood to be taking a fair whack in the back pocket to do so.
Shane Richardson declared a “passion to get back to the coalface” as the overwhelming reason for leaving his lucrative gig as the NRL’s head of game strategy and development.
He took up a general manager role at Souths, where he’d previously served as club CEO for 11 years, culminating in their historic 2014 premiership.
Forget the coalface. Richardson has jumped straight from the frying pan into the fire.
His role has him in charge of recruitment, retention, junior pathways and the football departments operations, and has him sitting above Maguire.
“In a lot of ways it will take a lot of pressure off Madge (Maguire) and allow him to be the coach of the football side,” Richardson told The Australian when he took the job in January.
“I know that is what he wants.
“My role is to get the recruitment right, get the best players, make sure our salary cap is in line, make sure our discipline and culture is right.
“I don’t intend to get in there and tell Madge how to coach. What I will be doing is making sure we set ourselves not only to win the first fixture, but more importantly win for the next five years.”
Richardson’s first six months have hardly been a happy homecoming, be it on the recruitment, discipline or culture fronts.
It’s been an incredible period of upheaval, with scandal every other week. Paul Carter, Kirisome Auva’a and Chris Grevsmuhl have been shown the door, while Luke Keary will be gone at season’s end too.
Former recruitment man Grant Jones and high performance operator Troy Thompson have also been 2016 casualties.
They’re tipped to be joined sooner rather than later by assistant coaches Kurt Wrigley and Wayne Collins.
Thompson and Collins were brought to the club by Maguire in 2011, while Wrigley has been right hand man since Madge’s arrival five years ago.
Richardson was brought back to Souths with a mandate to stop the rot. That’s much easier said than done at present, and Redfern won’t be rebuilt in a day, or half a year.
His calling card over 30 years in the game as an administrator has been making the tough calls and getting most of them right.
Neither he or Maguire - who is safe in the hot seat now - will bat an eyelid in making more, until they get the Rabbitohs right again.