St George Illawarra fullback Matt Dufty is disappointed that “influential” assistant Shane Flanagan won’t be at the club next season under new coach Anthony Griffin.
Flanagan has been moved along with fellow assistant James Shepherd as Griffin brings in his own coaches.
This has flattened Dufty who credited Flanagan and Shepherd, who led Cronulla to the 2016 premiership, for teaching him how to become a reliable NRL player this season which he started as the club‘s third choice fullback.
“I worked really hard in the pre-season and a big part of that has been Flanno and Shep,” Dufty said.
“They have taught me a lot about how to become a first grader consistently and I think that was what I was lacking in the past.
“I’d have a few good games and then have a few games off. Flanno has coached a team to the premiership and he knew what qualities I had to work on.
“He has been a very influential part of my year and I’ll be a bit upset if he leaves.”
Cody Ramsey of the Dragons celebrates after scoring his second try during the round 18 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canberra Raiders at WIN Stadium on September 12, 2020 in Wollongong, Australia. Photo: Matt King/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
The Dragons can’t make the finals, but the rise of rookie winger Cody Ramsey is a bright spark for the struggling club.
Ramsey scored a double on debut against Canberra last weekend, including a try with his first touch.
Dufty has no doubts that the rising back, dubbed – The Flying Plumber – is destined for a long NRL career.
“He (Cody) proved that he can play at the NRL level and he is only going to grow from here,” he said.
“He has been working hard and he deserved it on the weekend.
“Cody has been training hard behind the scenes. After the Nines he got injured and it has been a long road back.
“He is one of those kids that works hard and takes advice on board and really listens to what the coaches and other senior players have to say.
“That is the sign of a player that really wants to improve and grow.
“He is only just beginning, so it is exciting to see where it goes.”
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