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Cameron Ciraldo confirms resignation attempts under Anthony Griffin: 'It was in the best interests of myself and Hook'

Sporting News logo Sporting News 10/08/2018
Phil Gould hit back at ousted coach Anthony Griffin's criticism of him. © AAP Image/Joel Carrett Phil Gould hit back at ousted coach Anthony Griffin's criticism of him.

Interim Penrith coach Cameron Ciraldo has confirmed he approached Phil Gould with his resignation papers on two separate occasions under Anthony Griffin’s leadership.

Gould revealed in his impassioned defence against Griffin’s attack that he had to convince Ciraldo to stay at the club more than once after a series of disagreements with the former coach.

Refusing to go into detail and add fuel to ongoing drama out west, a tight-lipped Ciraldo wouldn’t reveal his reasons for wanting to resign but admitted it was a decision he thought was in the best interests for both himself and Griffin.

‘’I don’t want to go into too many details about it, but it’s true,’’ Ciraldo said of Gould’s revelations.

‘’At the time of me wanting to do that I just thought it was in the best interests of myself and the club and Hook and my family.

‘’I did that (try to resign), but I got talked around it twice and I’m glad I’m still here.

‘’There were a number of reasons (for wanting to resign) for myself and my development as a coach and what I wanted to do moving forward.

‘’At the time I thought it was the best thing to do but I’m glad Gus talked me out of it.’’

Asked what type of relationship the pair enjoyed, Ciraldo conceded it was strictly professional and the pair did not see eye-to-eye on a number of issues.

‘’He didn’t lose me, we had a working relationship but I can look myself in the mirror and know I did everything possible up until Monday to help him with the team,’’ he said.

‘’Every coach has different styles and philosophies and they’re all different. Things were done here and we just have to move on and make sure we finish the year off the way we want to.’’

a person in a newspaper © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited With four rounds of the season on the calendar and an impending finals series, Ciraldo will see out the remainder of the season in the top job but his long-term future remains a mystery.

There have been over 12 applications from former and current NRL coaches for the vacant position, according to Gould, but the club has its sights on poaching Ivan Cleary from the Tigers to keep a stronghold on the Cleary family.

While head coaching is on his bucket list, Ciraldo admits he hasn’t put much thought into the Penrith job after only receiving the keys to the club on Monday.

‘’I haven’t had time to think about it, honestly,’’ he said.

‘’It’s an easy thing to say but I feel like I finished playing not that long ago and I’ve gone from job to job and whatever job title I’ve got I just want what’s in the best interest for this club.’’

There have been suggestions Ciraldo is only a stand-up guy to front the press while Gould will pull the strings and run the team from behind the scenes.

But Ciraldo hopes to take the collaborative approach that his predecessor allegedly lacked and involve everyone from all four corners of the club.

‘’I think it’s everyone’s team. I think it’s the player’s team. We work for the players,’’ Ciraldo said.

‘’We want to make sure they’re prepared as best we can. We will use everyone inside this club, we’ve got some great people in this club.

‘’It’s not just me, it’s not just the players – we’re going to use everyone.’’

Ciraldo also threw up a defence for his boss and claimed they both share a similar philosophy when it comes to coaching.

‘’It’s frustrating to see how he’s being portrayed but the people within these four walls know the type of person Gus is,’’ he said.

‘’We all love having him here and I’m sure we’ll be fine moving forward.

‘’Most people in this club and the way the juniors have come through, we all have a particular style of football and we encourage players to back themselves and I don’t think that will change.’’

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