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Whitehaven coach Don Gailer parts company with club

Don Gailer was last night relieved of his coaching duties at Whitehaven with immediate effect while on a short family break in Paris.

Don Gailer photo
Don Gailer

A new contract offer, made to Gailer two weeks ago - the day after securing promotion in his first season in charge - was also withdrawn in a phone call from chairman Ralph Calvin.

It is understood the coach did not sign the contract when first offered as he was unhappy the club was keen to retain one senior player he wished to ditch.

And he did not believe players based outside the county were being asked to train often enough with their Cumbria-based team-mates to meet Championship requirements next term.

The club last week indicated to the straight-talking Aussie, who returns to England today as planned, that they were not prepared to move their position.

As a result he told a few insiders he was planning to step down at the end of the season. But he was highly-critical of his team after their 41-26 defeat at London Skolars on Friday night.

The squad, coaches and staff stayed in London for Saturday’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley and it is believed there was disquiet behind the scenes with some players unhappy at the atmosphere in the ranks.

Calvin said: “After the weekend in London it became apparent there was a rift between the players and coaching staff. It was going to be unworkable.

“The directors spoke about it and decided that in the best interests of everyone we withdraw the contract offer and relieve Don of his duties.

“I’m sorry it had to end this way but we couldn’t see any way ahead.”

The mood had been so much brighter two weeks earlier, when Gailer was offered his new deal.

“The board of directors have been sensational and seen fit to back me for another year. I am delighted,” the coach said at the time.

Whitehaven have one game still to play in the regular season, ahead of the Championship One play-offs.

Gailer was unveiled as successor to David Seeds in October last year.

Chief executive Barry Richardson said at the time he was confident Haven had picked the right man for the job.

“We didn’t want the coach travelling up the motorway three times a week,” Richardson said.

“If that had to be the case, so be it, but the two stand-out applicants were from overseas. We want a coach based here, working in the community.

“We also wanted someone with experience to come in, add value and move us forward.

“Our hopes are for promotion next year and hopefully we can win the league playing an exciting brand of football."

Have your say

if its player power that is ruining the club then get a coach(s) in who know the lads and know how they work.....

rob purdham has been ther and got the t-shirt, so too has ewan dowes, both cumbria lads, who wear the heart on the sleeve, not some aussie coming over for a pay day...

bit to run on this but hope they get it sorted

Posted by haven egend on 30 August 2012 at 11:56

What a surprise, and you thought prima-donnas were confined to the ugly game? Obviously the board has no backbone.
And there was going to be a stadium purpose built for this load of amateurs?

Posted by Observer on 30 August 2012 at 01:06

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