Club Statement : Grae Piddick

Dear Valued Players, Sponsors and Supporters

On Sunday 30 August 2020, a decision was made to relieve Grae Piddick of his first team duties, effective immediately. 

The decision was made shortly after the full-time whistle of our Round 26 Football Queensland National Premier League (“NPL”) fixture, away to the Sunshine Coast Wanderers. 

To be clear, the decision was not a knee-jerk reaction to our first loss of the 2020 NPL campaign. 

Our club administrators are acutely aware that you cannot win every match that you play and the beauty of sport in general is to celebrate your victories and rally together in times of defeat. No club or coach can guarantee success or silverware and no such expectation was placed on Grae Piddick, during his coaching tenure, at the Gold Coast Knights Football Club. 

The decision to relieve Grae Piddick of his first team duties at the mid-way point of a disrupted and increasingly competitive season, was made in order to put a stop to various lingering issues arising from within the first team squad, which was inhibiting the team’s ability to regain its form, following on from our highly-successful 2019 NPL campaign. 

Since 14 March 2020, the club has worked proactively with Grae to attempt to arrest these issues, so as to afford the first team squad every opportunity to succeed both on and off the pitch. As a club, we worked effectively with Grae, delivering on his requests for additional players and resources. Unfortunately, issues continued to persist, and it was becoming increasingly clear to club administrators, that we were beginning to lose our way. 

The club is extremely proud of its successes under Grae Piddick and his tenure will go down as being one of the most successful in the club’s 41-year history. This club will never deny Grae Piddick’s legacy and we are forever grateful for his professionalism, knowledge of the game, attention to detail and genuine warmth amongst his fellow coaching staff and players alike. 

With respect to Grae’s future involvement with the club, the club has offered Grae the opportunity to assume a senior role within the NPL coaching set up, for the remainder of the 2020 NPL campaign. The club is aware that these are difficult times for many working families and we do not wish to inflict any unnecessary financial stresses on Grae Piddick and his family, as a result of our difficult decision. Grae Piddick is rightfully assessing his options and we anticipate a decision in the coming days. 

Until then, we sincerely wish Grae Piddick all the very best with his ongoing professional development and future coaching endeavours. 

Moving forward, the club has and continues to rally around the first team squad in an effort to prepare for Saturday’s Round 7 NPL ‘catch up’ clash, away to Capalaba Bulldogs Football Club. The club has undergone a swift restructure within its senior coaching ranks to prepare the team for this weekend and the remaining 2020 NPL campaign. 

To this end, the club confirms that it has no intention of finding a permanent replacement for Grae Piddick for the remainder of the 2020 NPL campaign and will instead embark on a defined expressions of interest campaign, which will look to secure a Senior Men’s Coach by November 2020, in preparation for the 2021 NPL season. 

We acknowledge that our decision has brought both warranted and unwarranted attention to our proud club. Please understand that our club has been in this position before and will no doubt one day find itself in this position again. Our resolve remains steadfast and we make no apologies for seeking to ensure and preserve the interests of our players, sponsors and supporters, above all-else. 

Sincerely,

Adrian Puljich
Chairman