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The Age

Parkin quit threat

Date: 20/09/1999
Words: 583
          Publication: The Age
Section: Sport
Page: 1
Carlton coach David Parkin threatened to resign last Friday on the eve of the Blues' fairytale preliminary final victory over Essendon, angry that he had not been consulted over John Worsfold's appointment as assistant coach.

In a dramatic lead-up to Saturday's MCG thriller which belied Carlton's shock one-point victory over the Bombers, Parkin told Blues officials he was bitterly disappointed and offended by the Worsfold announcement, which was forced upon the club when the news leaked out of Perth late on Thursday.

The coach voiced his anger to club chief executive Stephen Gough, who reportedly attempted to placate Parkin and apologised at the timing of the Worsfold announcement.

Gough yesterday described the incident as a ``storm in a teacup".

"You can`t afford to be too sensitive about too much in football. I'm more concerned about making sure our team is right for a grand final next Saturday and making sure our members will receive tickets and adequate functions have been organised," he said.

Asked whether Parkin had officially resigned, Gough replied: ``Absolutely not."

While Parkin was behind the club's move to hire an extra assistant coach, he had not singled out Worsfold and had wanted to meet Worsfold to expand upon his job description and talk over football philosophies.

The only conversation of any significance between Parkin and the two-time West Coast premiership captain took place at an AFL Players Association dinner in early September.

He had not been aware that Worsfold and Carlton had agreed to a three-year deal. Added to Parkin's frustrations on Friday morning was the distraction of having his assistant coach and chief tactician Wayne Brittain absent because of interview commitments with Richmond for the Tigers' senior coaching position.

And Parkin was also reportedly offended by his president John Elliott's appearance on Channel Nine's Footy Show on Thursday night. In a performance laced with humor and embarrassment, Elliott publicly and repeatedly referred to the Blues' attempt to hire Dermott Brereton to coach Carlton during Parkin's tenure. He also confirmed the Worsfold appointment.

Gough confirmed yesterday that the timing of the Worsfold appointment had been unfortunate but unpreventable given the West Australian's decision to turn down lucrative offers from other clubs, notably Fremantle.

But none of the above helped Parkin's demeanor last Friday, which only serves to demonstrate the erratic nature of football.

Just 24 hours after Parkin had told colleagues he would be resigning as Carlton's senior coach, he guided his team into its first grand final since 1995 with a stunning and tactically ingenious victory over premiership favorite Essendon.

Said Gough: ``I didn't believe he was particularly flat on Friday. But if he was flat I just hope he's as flat again this Friday."

Parkin's love/hate relationship with his president, who was reportedly in tears after Saturday's victory, was further underlined at a function early last week when Elliott criticised what he believed to be inflationary wages for coaches.

The Carlton president said that Parkin received little more than $200,000 a year. Parkin appeared headed to coaching oblivion midway through last season but in a turnaround, which has led to a 1999 grand final appearance, was re-signed late last year on a two-year contract.


"I'm sure he doesn't just want to take me along for the ride and I feel I have something to offer the Carlton Football Club." -- John Worsfold on David Parkin

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