WHEN Shane Osborne decided to put his hand up to act as caretaker coach at the Grafton Rhinos last year he did so as a favour.
After the departure of good mate Shaun Fathers just four rounds into the NRRRL competition, Osborne took over the mantle after being approached by the club.
And with no first grade coach for the 2012 season the former centre once again came to the Rhinos' rescue.
With the Rhinos hopes of fielding a first grade side this season hanging by a slender thread Osborne is at a loss why some players are reluctant to put pen to paper.
"Those players who haven't committed to the club haven't let me down... they've let the club down," Osborne said.
"If you listen to some of the rumours floating around some players might not get on with me but no one has said it to my face.
"We won seven out of our last eight games last year and I find it hard to fathom if the coach is not liked there was certainly no indication by the players."
Osborne added the failure of several first grade players to sign the dotted line has not only let down the club but also the reserve grade and under-18 players.
"To be honest I can't see the Rhinos fielding a first grade side this season but there appears to be good numbers in reserve grade and juniors," he said.
"The sad thing for some of the first graders who have shown their commitment to the team is they may never play first grade again.
"And it's possibly too late to get a start at another club...you have to feel for those blokes."
According to Osborne he thought he had the nucleus of a competitive first grade side but in the end the numbers didn't stack up.
"Some blokes obviously did the right thing by the club and indicated they'll play but realistically you need a squad of at least 17," Osborne admitted.
"I know guys like Steve Kirby and Sam Woods were keen to play but others gave no indication they were not keen to commit."
Furthermore Osborne questioned the loyalty of some players at the club after the news broke that the Rhinos were struggling for both players and sponsors.
"One of the main areas the Ghosts beat us at is loyalty," he said.
"You just can't compete with the Ghosts in that area but I certainly question some of our blokes."
Osborne admitted he had reservations about taking on the coaching role but after many sleepless nights decided the club needed someone to guide them on the paddock in 2012.
"I thought about it and it wasn't an easy decision but the club was still in need of a coach," Osborne said.
"They failed to attract a coach so I put my hand up again and to be perfectly honest I thought we had something good going.
"I really hope they get a committee in place and at least reserve grade and under-18's run around this year."
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