Matthew Elliott resigns as Warriors coach

çMatthew Elliott has resigned as Warriors coach, just five games into the new NRL season.

Assistant coach Andrew McFadden has been appointed acting head coach to the end of 2014.

In a short statement, the club said Elliott offered his resignation following their 37-6 loss to Cronulla in Sydney on Sunday.

It was their third loss, continuing a modest start to the campaign which hasn’t matched pre-season expectations.

Media speculation had mounted that the club had initiated the move to part ways with Elliott early in his second season.

However, Warriors chairman Bill Wavish says the experienced Elliott had made the decision himself.

“I have learned a lot from Matt and am saddened that he has made this decision,” Wavish said.

“It speaks volumes of his character and integrity and I personally wish him well.”

Chief executive Wayne Scurrah said promoting McFadden, a recent appointment as assistant coach of the Kiwis, made sense.

“Andrew is widely recognised as a leader of the next generation of coaches in the very competitive NRL competition.”

McFadden was also a former assistant under Elliott at the Canberra Raiders.

Elliott posted a message on his Instagram account less than an hour before the club’s announcement.

“Supporting a Club is never about individuals, It’s about the guys who pull the jersey on & put their bodies on the line,” he wrote.

“Real fans show up in droves when times are tough. It not only inspires the players it holds them accountable.”

It followed a similarly philosophical message late on Sunday in which he said life is not about agreeing with decisions but dealing with, and making the most of them.

A former coach at English club Bradford and NRL outfits Penrith and Canberra, Elliott joined the Warriors at the start of last year to replace Brian McClennan.

The 49-year-old guided the Warriors to 11th place in 2013, winning 11 of 24 games.

After a bright pre-season campaign, they lost their two opening matches heavily last month – 36-16 to Parramatta and 31-12 to St George Illawarra before bouncing back to beat North Queensland and Wests Tigers.

A press conference has been called for 1pm (NZT) in Auckland involving McFadden, senior management and some players.

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