Fitzgerald Resigns as Royals Coach

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Updated: December 12, 2012

The Western Royals wake up this morning without a coach.  Ben Fitzgerald tendered his resignation and it was accepted by team president, Ross Coates.

Coates had indicated he and Fitzgerald spoke about the pending resignation last weekend and throughout the week.  He pointed out that even though the Royals had lost five out its last six games, four of those were to the league leading Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts who have lost just a single game all season.

However, Fitzgerald has gone on record in an interview with The Western Star saying he felt the team lacked discipline and didn’t follow policies that were put in place to improve the team.  He felt the team should have more of a “professional flavour” than what he had witnessed.  Fitzgerald hinted at a “no drinking” policy implemented by other teams and the inability to ice a full team during practices as some of the factors contributing to the team struggling.

CBC Corner Brook’s Brian McHugh interviewed Ross Coates and you could sense there was more happening behind the scenes during the interview.  There was obvious tension and it was apparent there was some disconnect between management and the coaching staff.  In his interview with The Western Star, Fitzgerald indicated he was frustrated with management not wanting to address the loss of Nathan Saunders and Steve North and realized that if things were not going to change, it was time for him to leave.

Coates has indicated he has approached Ed Kearsey to fill the vacancy left by Fitzgerald’s resignation.

K earsey is well known in the Royals organization, last guiding the Corner Brook Royals to the Herder in 2002.

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