Panthers assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo has rejected an offer to take over as head coach at the Wests Tigers in a crushing blow as the club continues its search to replace Michael Maguire.
The Tigers confirmed the news on Saturday afternoon, writing in a statement that Ciraldo and his management had contacted the club to let them know “he is not in a position to accept the role at this juncture in his career”.
Stream Rugby League Internationals LIVE on Kayo this Saturday 25th June. NZ vs Tonga Women 1:30PM | NZ vs Tonga 3:20PM | Samoa vs Cook Islands 5:40PM | PNG vs Fiji 7:50PM AEST. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
“Whilst disappointing, we respect his decision, and we will continue with the selection process in appointing our club’s head coach,” the statement continued.
Fox League’s James Hooper reported earlier in the month that the Tigers gave Ciraldo a guided tour of the club’s soon to be opened Centre of Excellence at Concord as he met with key powerbrokers Tim Sheens and chairman Lee Hagipantelis.
Ciraldo is still in the equation for the top job at the Bulldogs and while the Warriors are also looking for a new coach, the Panthers assistant is understood to not be interested.
As for the Tigers, the likes of John Morris and Kristian Woolf remain contenders for the role.
Ciraldo was the top choice to take the reigns at the Tigers after Sheens made it clear the club was after a development coach to lead the way forward at Concord.
“We are looking for a development coach,” Sheens said shortly after Maguire’s exit.
“Someone who is prepared to give our youngsters and opportunity. He is going to need to be patient.
“It is not going to be a simple fix tomorrow. Those kids we have got a lot of 21 and under in the club.
“We just have to cherry pick where we need to cherry pick and develop and develop hard and continue our development program, which will be next year and the year after and the year after.
“We have got great pathways now. We are determined to make a fist of that. It will take a little bit of time, but I’m not saying it will be three years before we get a result.
“It will be over the period of three years that we need to get better and better and develop the kids as well as the younger players and the veterans that we will need to pick here and there.”