Catalans on lookout for new boss at end of season
CATALANS Dragons today became the fourth Engage Super League club to embark on a search for a new coach after Kevin Walters announced he would leave them at the end of the year.
The 42-year-old Walters made his announcement just 48 hours before his side take on Batley for a place in the semi-finals of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.
The Cup represents the only prospect of success this season for the Dragons, who are bottom of the league with just two wins from their first 15 matches.
Their struggles in the first half of the season are in sharp contrast to the way they finished the 2009 campaign when they went within 80 minutes of a maiden Grand Final appearance in Walters’ first season in charge.
Although the former Brisbane Broncos and Australia stand-off initially signed a three-year contract, he has revealed the third season was optional and took the decision to quit after meeting with chairman Bernard Guasch, chief executive Christophe Jouffret and football manager Sebastien Munoz.
"The Dragons are a great club with good people involved," he said.
"My family and I have enjoyed our time here in Perpignan and I look forward to finishing off the season with some good results, similar to our campaign in 2009.
"I know that this is possible in both the Carnegie Challenge Cup and the Super League with plenty of hard work and a little bit of luck."
Walters has been out of luck for much of the year with a spate of injuries and suspensions causing havoc with his team selection but the biggest blow was the decision of playmaker Adam Mogg to quit the club for personal reasons in March.
Guasch said: "I understand Kevin’s decision but I’m very disappointed for him. He is a great man who works hard and was really unlucky this season.
"I hope he will get better results with the team during this second part of the 2010 campaign.
"He deserves a good ending and I hope he will find a new club for a new start in his professional life."
One potential successor is Walters’ predecessor Mick Potter, who could be tempted to return to the Gilbert Brutus Stadium despite announcing his intention to return home in October after completing his two-year contract at St Helens.
Potter took the Catalans to Wembley in 2007 and was Super League coach of the year in 2008 after guiding them to the play-offs for the first time.
Potter, who left the Dragons on good terms, has yet to secure a position in Australia’s National Rugby League and has also been linked with the vacancy at Bradford.
Huddersfield Giants are the other club with a coaching vacancy for 2011, after Nathan Brown announce his intention to return to his native Australia.