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Sport Chad Townsend joins calls for John Morris' future at Cronulla to be settled

12:51  08 april  2021
12:51  08 april  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Chad Townsend has joined teammate Aaron Woods in urging Cronulla to make a call on John Morris' future.

Morris is arguably the NRL's most under pressure coach despite leading the club to consecutive finals series after taking over the role from Shane Flanagan in 2019.

Off-contract at the end of this year, Morris is yet to receive an offer from the Sharks, who are reportedly wanting to wait until the middle of this season to assess whether Morris is their best long-term option.

The silence around Morris' future at the Shire comes as the club prepares to mull over the futures of 18 players who come off-contract at the end of this year, including the likes of in-form trio William Kennedy, Matt Moylan and Aaron Woods.

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Woods has already come forward calling on Cronulla powerbrokers to decide on who will coach the club for the benefit of players coming off-contract.

“We need to know what is going on. It’s the hardest thing for him, all the boys are going really well and everyone is playing for each other," he said this week.

“I went through it at the Tigers. If you don’t know who your coach is going to be, players don’t want to come and sign, or re-sign as well.

"If you don’t know who your coach is going to be, are players going to re-sign or are they going to come? They just want to know who is going to be here.

"If they make the decision to keep Bomber, blokes will stay here and we will get players to come. It’s just up to the club to get out and do it."

And appearing on Fox League's NRL Tonight, Townsend also said he was eager to see Morris' future sorted.

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"We'd like to have it all done sooner rather than later," the Sharks halfback said.

"We understand the clubs has a process they have to undertake. For us, it's just business as usual.

Morris' two-year tenure has been hardly smooth sailing, with the young mentor having to endure an out-of-shape salary cap and long-term injuries to key players throughout.

Rumours also emerged late last year suggesting Morris had fallen out with some of the senior members of his squad.

Townsend said Morris was deserving of a new deal, commending his coach for keeping the players focused despite the ongoing speculation.

"Bomber has done an incredible job with us and making sure we're focusing on our football and focusing on the things we can control," he said.

"Everything that happens externally, there's not much we can do about it.

"We just want to stay focused on our football and at the moment we're in a really good place."

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Cronulla officials will continue monitoring the side's performance over the next month before deciding on whether Morris' contract is extended.

The club have won two of their four opening matches – including last week's 48-10 demolition of the Cowboys – and sit in eighth on the ladder with a testing clash with the Roosters beckoning this weekend.

The Australian's Brent Read reported on Thursday the pressure on Cronulla to re-sign Morris wasn't helping his cause.

"There's a lot of pressure coming on the club to re-sign John Morris," Read told Triple M's Rush Hour.

"Cronulla aren't going to cave in on this, they're going to stay the course. They've said at least eight weeks – they're not going to do anything before then.

"I don't think the external pressure helps his cause. I don't think the Cronulla officials are taking kindy to all the pressure that's been heaped on them to re-sign him.

"John's had a couple of good wins but they were against St. George in week one where St. George basically beat themselves, and the Cowboys which is basically a bye."

Players put heat on Sharks over coach's future .
Cronulla Sharks veteran Aaron Woods has issued a grim warning to the club as the future of coach John Morris remains clouded.Morris, who's off-contract at the end of this year, has led the club to back-to-back finals appearances since taking over from Shane Flanagan at the start of the 2019 season.

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