NATHAN BROWN’s reign as Huddersfield Giants coach was ended because owner Ken Davy was not prepared to let the club drift any further.
A run of seven defeats in eight super League matches, plus Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Warrington Wolves, resulted in the early release of Australian Brown from his Galpharm contract.
It was announced in April he’d be joining St Helens for next season with assistant Paul Anderson stepping up at the Giants.
Anderson will now take charge immediately for Sunday’s home clash with Wakefield – and the Giants will explore the option of bringing in Kieron Purtill as assistant as soon as possible.
With the Giants seventh in Super League and clinging to a play-off place by just three points, Davy (inset) explained: “It’s self evident we have had a very poor run of late.
“We shouldn’t let that colour our judgement of the contribution Nathan has made to the club over the last three years or so, however.
“We would have preferred results to be such that we could have continued to make the change-over as planned at the end of the season, but we simply can’t allow the club to drift because it’s not fair to the fans, to the squad or to the other aspects of the club’s activity.”
Formerly player and coach with NRL club St George Illawarra, Brown was appointed in 2009 and made a big impact. Even earlier this season the Giants topped Super League, but their slump has been dramatic.
“We do have what we believe is an excellent squad and, for the first half of the year, we were delivering excellent performances,” said Davy, whose club play St Helens in only 12 days time.
“The fact things have fallen away this last eight weeks has been a bitter disappointment to all concerned – therefore it’s right the change is made.
“We certainly considered the challenges we were facing much earlier, and again more recently after the Castleford result (a 52-6 defeat), however I felt it right and proper to give Nathan the opportunity to have a crack at Warrington in the Challenge Cup semi-final. I still believe that was the right thing to do under the circumstances.”
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Davy has every faith in Anderson guiding the Giants “to as high a play-off position as possible” and said the club will be looking forward rather than dwelling on events of the last few months.
“Paul Anderson is highly respected throughout the game for his experience as a player and the work he has done as assistant to Nathan,” he said.
“As everyone knows, we announced a change would be made at the end of the season because we understood Nathan was returning to Australia. That hasn’t worked out and he is now going elsewhere, but there’s no doubt Paul is well qualified to step up to the position of head coach that bit earlier with the aim of finishing as high up the play-offs as possible.”
Fans have become frustrated with form, especially as it dipped after Brown’s new job was revealed. Skipper Kevin Brown and Lee Gilmour have also agreed deals elsewhere.
“It’s very easy to look back and make judgements,” added the club Supremo. “While we were very surprised Nathan and his family were not going back to Australia and that he had taken a job at another UK club, the fact remains the team were performing well.
“The assurances Nathan gave us in terms of his focus on Huddersfield Giants this season were such that I had little hesitation in expecting him to fulfil his contract with the Giants.
“In reaching the semi-finals of the Cup we were the envy of 10 other clubs in Super League, but sadly we won’t be going to Wembley this year.
“I think we’ve had four or five semi-finals, two finals in the last few years and a semi-final of the play-offs, and those are clear indications of the goal we’ve set ourselves.
“You could argue we were only one pass away from the Grand Final and therefore the club has come an awful long way this last few years, and I very much look forward, with the support of the fans, to taking the club to even greater success in the future.
“It is all for the fans, all about the fans and all about the community, and so we look forward to working together to build that success.”