Flanagan refusing to ‘panic buy’ to fix Dragons halves woes
Despite coming 16th last year on the ladder, Dragons coach Shane Flanagan has revealed that he won’t conform to “panic buying” following the departure of Junior Amone,
The questioning over the club’s strength in the halves has begun to circulate after Amone was stood down, however Flanagan’s response is one that can put Dragons fans at ease.
“I’ve stated previously that we’ll be one of the more active clubs talking to players as soon as we hit November 1,” Flanagan told the Daily Telegraph.
We’ve (management) worked hard to get our salary cap into a position where we can be active and that remains the plan.
That’s not to say we won’t be in the market to sign a player for 2024.But what I’m not going to do is panic buy in reaction to ifs and maybes or uncertainty over a player.”
Flanagan was adamant to not take any questions regarding Amone’s court case.
The 21-year-old will be sentenced come December 6 after being found guilty of chasing a tradesman off a roof with a hammer.
The former Dragons half could face up to seven years imprisonment.
“I want to take the club on a certain trajectory and to do that, it can’t be achieved by reactive buying,” Flanagan said.
“There’s a strategy and patience involved in that process.
“We’ve seen what can happen at a number of clubs, including ours, when you buy a player, and keeping in mind managers never want to give their player to you for one-year, it’s always two or three years … so it can hurt you in the long run if you buy a player long-term just to fix a short-term problem.
“As I said, we’re working 24/7 on our current roster, while also knowing every player available from November 1. We’re not rushing anything.”
The last time Flanagan sat in the head coach’s chair in an NRL side was in 2018 and it’s fair to say he’s excited to be back.
“I honestly can’t wait,” Flanagan said.
“That first day back will be a lot of our promising youth players before the majority of our NRL roster begins on November 13.”