Divided opinion: A proposed amalgamation has Coffs Harbour members sitting on different sides of the fence.
Divided opinion: A proposed amalgamation has Coffs Harbour members sitting on different sides of the fence. Coffs Coast Advocate/Leigh Jensen

Hales stands down

AT the moment the Coffs Harbour Comets are without an official first-grade coach.

Player discontent within the club came to a head on Tuesday night and the result is that first-grade coach Mick Hales has stood down from his position.

Team captain Geoff Batten will coach the Comets this Sunday in their local derby clash on Sunday against Sawtell while the club searches for someone to take on the role for the rest of the season.

“He (Hales) has resigned for the benefit of the club as the team just wasn't responding to his coaching,” Coffs Harbour president Ken Hoad said yesterday.

The club committee offered Hales their full and unqualified support during a meeting with him on Tuesday night before questioning the playing group about any issues that they had during a separate meeting.

“I had had a couple of players come to me with concerns and I had heard other things second and third hand so I wanted them all in one room to find out what was really said,” Hoad said of the reason for the special players' gathering.

“If they can't say it in front of everyone then they shouldn't say it at all.”

When Hoad contacted Hales after the meeting with the players, Hales informed him of his decision to step down.

Given a chance to reconsider his actions, Hoad contacted the coach again yesterday afternoon but Hales was adamant that standing down was the right course of action to take.

“He said to me that it was the right thing to do as a coach for the benefit of the club,” Hoad added.

“He thinks this is the right thing to do rather than inflame the situation.”

When asked about the committee's attitude to the entire situation, the president admitted that it was “one of disappointment”.

“Due to it being so early in the season and everyone knew how hard our run was going to be for the first five rounds,” Hoad explained.

“You couldn't have got a more horrific run in a comp of football.” While the search for a new coach begins, Hoad is confident that this weekend the Comets can somehow find a silver lining to the dark cloud that is currently hovering over Advocate Park.

“It's a big game against Sawtell and even though they put 90 points on Macleay, Orara Valley put 88 on them and we challenged them,” he said.

“We're getting better every week and as Mick said we've got a team that isn't far away from winning five, six, seven games straight.”



Coffs engineer helps to save lives in Bangladesh

Coffs engineer helps to save lives in Bangladesh

This is one of the more challenging missions I have experienced

Cost of living budget 'laughable'

Cost of living budget 'laughable'

Luke Foley said cost of living budget measure is laughable.

STATE BUDGET: Extra $38 million for Coffs hospital expansion

STATE BUDGET: Extra $38 million for Coffs hospital expansion

Coffs Harbour hospital expansion to top $194 million

Local Partners