FUTURE FOCUS: Mackay Cutters CEO Maurie Fatnowna plans to search far and wide for the right coaching fit for season 2020.
FUTURE FOCUS: Mackay Cutters CEO Maurie Fatnowna plans to search far and wide for the right coaching fit for season 2020. Emma Murray

Cutters CEO puts timeline on new coach hire

MACKAY Cutters CEO Maurie Fatnowna wants a new head coach in place by the time the club begins pre-season in mid-November.

The hunt for Steve Sheppard's replacement is officially on.

The Cutters announced last week club and coach would go their separate ways at the end of the Intrust Super Cup season.

Fatnowna confirmed the Cutters would advertise for the head coach role beginning today.

Fatnowna said after "a few lean years” on the Intrust Super Cup finals outer, it was time the club went in a different coaching direction.

"I have an idea of what I would like to see in a coach, to lead a group of young men and give them a fresh voice; encourage them and to challenge them to take it to another level,” he said.

Fatnowna said there was "a little bit of shock” within the playing group when told of Sheppard's exit, because he had coached a handful of the group for some "six or seven years”. But the Cutters CEO hoped a new coach and philosophy would breathe renewed life into the team come season 2020.

"One of my favourite sayings is 'familiarity breeds contempt'. Sometimes, when you're seeing the same thing over and over and over again you need a bit of a jolt to move forward,” Fatnowna said.

"We've got a fantastic playing group. I think once you get challenge again under a different system or under a different leader it brings the best out in you.”

Fatnowna pointed to former Cutters Nicho Hynes (Sunshine Coast Falcons) and Jordan Grant, (Redcliffe Dolphins) who have since flourished after exposure to different coaching structures, as a prime example of the benefit in change.

"These players, once they are faced with a different voice and different challenge, they will respond. I know our boys will do exactly that next year,” he said.

Steve Sheppard has left the Mackay Cutters with a year remaining on his contract. He coached the Intrust Super Cup team for three seasons.
Steve Sheppard has left the Mackay Cutters with a year remaining on his contract. He coached the Intrust Super Cup team for three seasons. Aidan Cureton

The Cutters plan to cast a wide net in the search for their next coach.

"We're a feeder club to the North Queensland Cowboys . . . and we live at BB Print Stadium. That's a fantastic advertisement for us,” Fatnowna said.

"Why wouldn't you want to be a coach here?”



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