Charles Thompson, the man who led the Werribee Giants to a Baseball Victoria club championship less than 12 months ago, has been fired as head coach.
Thompson was given his marching orders on Thursday, a day after the Giants embarrassing loss to previously winless Ballarat City Brewers.
Assistant coach Shane Haywood will take over as caretaker until the end of the season.
Haywood was in the dug out for the Giants’ 8-4 win over Doncaster Dragons at President’s Park on Saturday.
Giants president Ben Bavdek said results this season had been unacceptable for a club that had become accustomed to being involved in the finals.
“The club had two choices – you either sit down idly and hope that it gets better or you be pro-active and try to fix the situation,” Bavdek said. “We decided it’s best to jump on it now and see if we can steady the ship and move from there.
“We have been too successful in the last six years to not notice when you’re sitting in the middle of the pack.
“We thought, ‘This is the right time, we’ve got four weeks left … let’s see if we can get something out of it and grow a few leaders internally’.”
Werribee’s slide will see it miss this season’s division 2 finals.
The Giants went into the season with dreams of earning promotion, but were flat as a tack from the outset.
How much of the blame can be attributed to Thompson or the under-performing players is up for debate, but the coach takes the fall more often than not.
Bavdek said the “positives have far outweighed the negatives” in Thompson’s tenure at the club, but the message was no longer getting through to the players.
“We’ve had a poor season and you can see that,” Bavdek said. “Sometimes the coach can do everything he wants to do, but it just doesn’t work, it just doesn’t gel on the field. ‘CT’ did everything we asked for, but at the end of the day, it didn’t seem to be working this season.
“Sometimes, the same voice – after a certain amount of time – just bounces off deaf ears.
“We thought, ‘Do we hold off or do we try to throw a rally together and get something going’.
“We play 12 months of the year – we get to the end of the season and two weeks later we’re playing again [in the winter season] – so we don’t have the luxury of shutting it down, putting our ducks in a row and getting it right.”
Werribee’s tumble from division powerhouse to middle-of-the-road team was illustrated spectacularly in the loss to Ballarat City.
That was the last straw for the Giants’ president.
“They’ve [Ballarat City] been getting beaten by 20 runs a game and they hadn’t won a game,” Bavdek said.
“They had the camera crews down there for WIN television and decided to film the game, which wasn’t great for us.
“There’s always a catalyst for change at our club and that might have been it.
“We’re not afraid to make those big calls when you need to.”