Ackland may come back to haunt Warriors

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 16/06/2013
John Ackland
JASON OXENHAM/Fairfax Media
ACKLAND OUT: Junior Warriors coach John Ackland will quit his job at the end of the season.

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Departing Warriors under-20s coach John Ackland could come back to haunt the club he has spent so long being associated with.

It was announced last week that Ackland wouldn't be staying with the club when his contract runs out at the end of the season, while Fairfax Media revealed the next day that Stacey Jones would be taking over.

Ackland has declined to be interviewed about his situation, but Sunday Star-Times understands he has already been offered a job with a UK club, but may end up as a scout for a rival NRL club in New Zealand.

His results with the Junior Warriors, winning two titles, would put him in high demand in Australia and the UK, but it's believed he would find it hard to leave New Zealand.

Famously, between 2002 and 2003 when Ackland was a scout for the Bulldogs, he brought Roy Asotasi, Hutch Maiava and most notably, Sonny Bill Williams to the Sydney club and there's no reason someone as well connected couldn't lure the country's next young superstar to Australia under the noses of the Warriors.

Ackland and Warriors head coach Elliott have clashed this year over philosophies on what the Junior Warriors are all about.

Elliott wants the best young players to be with the reserve grade Auckland Vulcans rather than the Warriors, believing the jump to the NRL is too big. Ackland wanted to keep those players in the Holden Cup and look to win more titles.

There are also issues over the salary cap for the Holden Cup.

Ackland has used a large number of players this season and the Junior Warriors are already close to the $250,000 limit, something else that caused some friction inside the club.

A number of the Warriors players who came up through Ackland's time at the Junior Warriors are believed to be unhappy with how they believed he has been treated by the club.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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