Force "player revolt" rubbished by Sharpe

Yahoo!Xtra Sport / Neil Reid, Yahoo!Xtra Sport September 30, 2008, 1:27 pm
Force player revolt rubbished by Sharpe

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Western Force captain Nathan Sharpe has again denied John Mitchell is at the centre of a player revolt in Perth.

Australian media reports on the weekend claimed that the former All Black coach was off-side which some of his marquee players, including Matt Giteau.

It was reported a dossier of discontent was set to be tabled with top-brass of the Perth-based Super 14 franchise's management.

But Sharpe, in camp with the Wallabies, has denied the report's accuracy.

While players had met with management, he said it was not a direct complaint against Mitchell.

"There was a bunch of players and the CEO and the players' representative on the board (John Welborn) who got together just to discuss things, ranging from the administration to the playing," Sharpe said.

"It was certainly nothing to do with Mitch. It was just the performance of the team going forward was what the boys wanted to talk about.

"You can always get better in different areas as an organisation and that's what we are looking to do. That goes from the way we hold ourselves as a club, the way we run our marketing, the way we do our public appearances.

"To be honest, it was very early stages of planning for next year and the guys just wanted to make sure we got on top of things."

The Sunday Telegraph reported that a "major divide" had been created between Mitchell and some of his players.

The paper quoted former Force lock John Wellborn, who is now expected to hand over the complaints at the franchise's next board meeting on October 20.

He said: "I caught up with the players recently and also the CEO Greg Harris and had a chat about any issues they've got.

"The players have got a number of issues.

"Some of those are around the coaching structure, some of them are around administration.

"The players are very keen to do well next year and to have some input into how that can happen.

"One of the standard items on the agenda of any board meeting is a report from the players."

The paper reported that one of the complaints surrounded Mitchell storming out of the Force dressing room at halftime during their final match of the Super 14 season.

It claimed after Mitchell had left the room, first-five Matt Giteau is alleged to have said: "Lock the door behind him".

Sharpe recently signed a new long-term deal with the Western Force.

He reiterated views he first made earlier this month that Mitchell had his full support.

"I get along really well with Mitch," Sharpe said.

"He's a great guy and a very good coach.

"He's an intense fella, that's just the way he is. He is competitive.

"That's what you want in a coach. A guy who works very, very hard."

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