STAYING PUT: Playmaker Daniel Fitzhenry will coach Southcity again in 2015
DETERMINED not to overstay his welcome, Southcity captain-coach Daniel Fitzhenry called for a poll of the players before deciding to stay with the Bulls for 2015.
In what Southcity president Rod Porter described as a “massive boost”, Fitzhenry yesterday “agreed to terms” for a fifth, and possibly last, season in command at the Wagga club.
Coming days out from a critical Group Nine clash with Young at Harris Park on Sunday, Fitzhenry’s decision was applauded by Porter, and strongly backed by the Bulls players.
Speaking to The Daily Advertiser yesterday, Porter revealed that Fitzhenry had been prepared to call an end to his coaching tenure at Southcity if the players had not wanted him to stay on.
“Daniel actually asked us to talk to the players before he made the decision,” Porter said yesterday.
“The reaction we got (from the players) was really positive.
“They were really keen for Daniel to coach in 2015.”
Porter is adamant the retention of Fitzhenry on a “hand shake deal” was an important step for Southcity.
“Daniel has been great for the club,” Porter said.
“We’ve come a long way in the time Daniel has been here.”
An NRL premiership winner with Wests Tigers in 2005, Fitzhenry was a headline-grabbing recruit for the Bulls in 2011.
Currently in his fourth season with Southcity, the star playmaker has had a profound impact, presiding over the rise of the Bulls from stragglers to major premiership force.
Under Fitzhenry, Southcity won a breakthrough grand final in his first year, and has maintained a high position ever since.
This year the Bulls are second on the table and in the right in the mix for another title.
Fitzhenry yesterday admitted he had been unsure whether to continue his stint at the club.
“It does play on your mind,” he said yesterday.
“Sometimes the boys feel they need a change.
“Every club goes through it … the boys get sick of the coach.
“That’s why I asked the club to talk to the boys.”
Given the endorsement of the playing group, and with his “body feeling all right”, Fitzhenry elected to coach next year.
However, he is adamant his career is nearing an end.
“I don’t want to wind up looking like a goose,” he said.
“I’ll reassess things at the end of the year.”
Significantly, the retention of Fitzhenry came as Southcity announced it will celebrate a 10-year reunion on July 19.
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