What’s the toughest job around? Maybe Leader of the Opposition? Try being a football coach.

If Mark Latham, or Colin Barnett, or even Simon Crean, are looking for an “easier” job than Leader of the Opposition then they should forget about taking up professional football coaching.

While Leader of the Opposition is rightly regarded as the most thankless job in politics (but who do so many politicians aspire to it then?) coaching a professional rugby league, or rules, team must surely be as hazardous, and at times, thankless.

Increasingly, whenever a team under performs, the coach alone seems to get the blame. Not the players, not the selectors, or not the club officials who recruit players, and coaches.

The 2005 National Rugby League season is still nine days away, yet already one coach has had to deal with an apparent “player dissent”, another has had his past recruitment/selection record dissected, and at least two other coaches are feeling the heat of more than just a long hot summer.

Things don’t seem to be much different in the AFL either. But is it really fair?

The latest coach to be asking that question must be St George Illawarra’s Nathan Brown. As Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph put it – “I want the truth. Brown confronts his players over rumours”.

CRIKEY: Read the full story on the site here: http://www.crikey.com.au/articles/2005/03/002-0001-4823.html

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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