Phil Gould hasn’t ruled out a return to the Blues State of Origin team in an official capacity.
Gould remains the most successful Blues coach in Origin history. In his eight series in charge, he won six, lost only one and drew the other.
After back-to-back series losses under Brad Fittler, Greg Alexander last week confirmed he would not return to the advisor role he’s held for the past several series, as did assistant coach Paul McGregor.
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Fittler and Gould formed a close bond as player and coach between 1992-1996. Two years after his representative retirement, Fittler answered Gould’s SOS and returned to the Blues for the second two games of the 2004 series, scoring in game three to win the series.
They have continued that bond in their current roles with Nine.
Gould told Danny Weidler in his Sydney Morning Herald column he is open to filling the advisor role, but only if Fittler asks him to.
”When it comes to Brad Fittler, he has never asked me for much … anything I’ve ever asked him to do, he has always said yes,” Gould said.
”And the same applies to me – anything he asks, I always say yes. We will worry about Origin if he asks.”
The call is yet to be made on whether Fittler will receive a new 12-month contract and extend his Blues coaching career into a seventh year.
Pub mogul Stu Laundy has indicated he wants to sponsor Fittler and his coaching staff. He wants Gould in the advisor role, and for Andrew Johns to have an increased presence in camp.
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”The combination of Freddy, our second most capped coach, and Gus [Gould], our statistically most successful, is simply the most potent stewardship our state could possibly conjure up,” Laundy told the SMH.
Laundy said Laurie Daley, sacked as Blues coach after the 2017 series and replaced by Fittler, was let go too soon.
”My friend Laurie Daley, an Immortal in waiting, was cut too soon and our long-term momentum lost as a result. I’m so passionate about returning order to the Origin arena, and Freddy, Gus and Joey [Johns] are the holy trinity we require to do so and enjoy my firm and total backing in this regard,” he said.
”Whatever it takes, I’m in. I want to help the Blues team.”
Daley is also believed to be in contention for the advisor role.