Souths recruitment, Jason Demetriou, Cody Walker, Damien Cook, Adam Reynolds, Jack Wighton

Souths recruitment, Jason Demetriou, Cody Walker, Damien Cook, Adam Reynolds, Jack Wighton

There are fears that changing Souths’ coach won’t do anything to help their on-field results because the club has shot itself in the foot with recruitment for far too long.

They recently signed an untested 22-year-old halfback from the Super League when they let their club captain Adam Reynolds leave in 2021 because he was too old and three years later he is still dominating for the Broncos.

Lachlan Ilias was lauded by Demetriou as potentially the best halfback the club has ever produced and now he has been given permission to negotiate with rivals.

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And the club has failed to reinvigorate an ageing pack that has seen them concede a whopping 250 points in just eight games to start the 2024 season.

Braith Anasta questioned if Souths’ recruitment is behind Demetriou’s poor recent record, which led to his sacking.

“Have they made the right decisions there, though? I think we should delve a little bit deeper into recruitment,” Anasta said on NRL 360.

Brent Read agreed Souths have been poor in recruitment recently.

“Well, no, they haven’t,” Read said.

“They’re short in the middles. Junior Tatola is out at the moment, but they’re desperately short on middles.

“They didn’t need to go on so on half. They should have gone on the front row from somewhere.”

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Cody Walker was signed on a big money deal.Source: Getty Images

The Daily Telegraph’s Dave Riccio found it damning that Souths didn’t make a play for Addin Fonua-Blake.

“I found it interesting they made no serious play for Addin Fonua-Blake,” Riccio said.

“He would just walked into that South Sydney pack and change the entire dimension of how they look as a footy team.

“And with the retirement of Burgess or moving on of Burgess, it does leave questions on where they move next as far as recruitment in the forward pack because there’s just no ready-made replacements on the open market.”

James Graham found the signing of Jack Wighton curious because he wasn’t even coming to play in his preferred position.

“Even with the acquisition of Jack Wighton, who I think has been Souths best player, but that was a surprise signing,” Graham said.

“They’ve got Campbell Graham and Isaiah Tass in the centres. They’ve got the style of player that Jack Wighton is.

That, for me, was a straight… It’s great, brilliant, but I thought, oh, there’s going to be some players moved, but nobody did.”

Jack Wighton was bought for big money to play a position Souths had covered.Source: Getty Images

Anasta believes Souths have been hurt by paying big contracts to ageing spine players that have lost form, which sparked debate.

“They went all in too on Cody Walker and Damien Cook as well,” Anasta said.

“Big deals, upgrades, extensions at the age of 32.”

“But at the time they were going well,” Riccio countered.

“And you run the risk of losing them and you start all over again.”

“They were playing well and you have got to roll the dice in recruitment I get that, but it hasn’t really paid off, has it?” Anasta said.

Demetriou SACKED by South Sydney | 02:10

Like, when you look at it back… It’s all great in hindsight. I get it. I’m not disagreeing. But you can’t say it’s been a success either though.”

Dave Riccio believes the constant media circus around Latrell Mitchell’s form has been a distraction.

“There’s so many elements at play here, at times they look like an ageing roster,” Riccio said.

“At times, they’re completely bereft due to injuries and suspension.

“The constant headline and speculation over Latrell Mitchell’s performances and future at the footy club.

Damien Cook was signed long-term holding back a young gun from developing.Source: Supplied

“His commitment to the club. I think there’s a myriad of issues that have held this footy club back.”

However, Anasta believes Souths need to stop relying on their junior pathways and be more active in the player market.

“I think they’re struggling with their development and pathways there at Souths,” Anasta said.

“I think the S.G. Ball didn’t make the finals. The Matthews Cup didn’t make the finals. Their Jersey Fleg came sixth.

“They’ve had Taaffe, Ilias and Peter Mamouzelos, who are the next biggest things who won the S.G. Ball.

“They’re arguably the best spine in their age group who have not gone on to bigger and better things, which they assume would.

So, there’s an obvious issue there. South Sydney, I played in the junior system there, was always the best.

“Such a great breeding ground for talent. And I just feel like they need to make moves like Melbourne and the Roosters, because they kind of lean and depend on their juniors a lot.”

#Souths #recruitment #Jason #Demetriou #Cody #Walker #Damien #Cook #Adam #Reynolds #Jack #Wighton

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