Cessnock Goannas coach Todd Edwards signals player roster and culture shake-up

Todd Edwards
Todd Edwards

Cessnock coach Todd Edwards has signalled a major shake up in club culture and the playing roster as the Goannas appear set to miss the finals for the fourth year in a row.

Edwards' comments came after Cessnock were smashed 57-0 by Western Suburbs in front of the Goannas Old Boys on Saturday.

To make the finals Cessnock need to beat second-placed South Newcastle at Townson Oval on Saturday and rely on either Maitland or Kurri Kurri to lose.

"For the first time in my career I don't think I have any influence over the footy group," Edwards said.

"It is disappointing because it is a handy roster. There are a couple of position we are struggling in through injury, but I think we can compete better than we did yesterday.

"Blokes showed me they didn't want to be there.

"That's fine because if they want to be here they will be getting an offer that I believe is fair and reflects their performance. A lot will take a significant hit to their pay packet.

"We'll see what happens this week, see who turns up and who has a rip.

"If they just go through the motions and we finish sixth again for the fourth year in a row there's a culture and a roster problem and that's something I need to fix.

"If we keep going with what we've got we'll just keep getting what we've always got.

"I need to significantly change the culture and the roster."

Edwards said there was a gap between Wests and the rest of the competition but they were beatable with hard work and commitment.

"You've just got to keep the ball off them and we didn't do that," he said.

"They execute so quickly, they play with great width, they are a really good football team.

"You have to starve them of ball and be squeaky clean defensively.

"We didn't do that. We didn't defend. We weren't good enough."