Former player Todd Lowrie has been dumped as Knights’ Jersey Flegg Under 20’s coach only a matter of weeks after knocking back the chance to work fulltime as coach of the club’s NSW Cup squad.
After taking the Knights to the Under 20’s minor premiership last season in his third year at the helm, head coach Nathan Brown offered Lowrie a more senior fulltime position with the Cup squad.
But after knocking back that opportunity for financial reasons, Lowrie now finds himself out of a job altogether after he was passed over for the Jersey Flegg job in favour of the club’s junior coaching co-ordinator Scott Dureau.
Knights CEO Phil Gardner confirmed he made the call not to reappoint Lowrie.
“Todd is a good bloke who has done a good job but the decision’s been made to move forward without him,” Gardner said.
“We offered him a fulltime gig which he didn’t want because financially, it wasn’t enough for him. Then we offered him the part-time gig in the 20’s but it wasn’t to his liking and he wanted to re-negotiate so I just made a decision to move on and Scott Dureau is going to do it.
“Scotty’s already a fulltime employee and a very good coach so we are very happy to have him in the role and he’ll be doing some other bits and pieces as well.
“I think he has the capacity in the fullness of time to be a first grade coach. He’s a very talented young man and a champion bloke.”
Asked if the appointment was a cost-cutting exercise, Gardner intimated that any saving would be spent elsewhere in the department.
“There is no such thing as saving money in rugby league. It will go into a black hole somewhere else,” he said. “We have certainly upped the resources this year across the whole club.”
A bitterly disappointed Lowrie admits he is at a loss to understand why he has been forced out and says he is yet to be given any explanation.
“When Browny initially offered me the Cup job, he basically said I could have either one,” he said.
“Financially for my young family, it just wasn’t possible for me to go fulltime but I was happy to do the 20’s again. I think I’ve done a pretty good job in my three years there.
“I’m just really disappointed to be honest and I’m hoping to catch up with Phil to find out exactly why I’ve been pushed out. ”