“I’d actually like to think I left them well educated,” Barrett said. “A few of the boys I got there like Siro (Sironen) were coming out of reserve grade … I’ve really loved seeing all these guys kick on this year.”
The comments riled Kristie Fulton, a long-time Sea Eagles staffer. She took to Facebook to vent her disgust on Monday night with the following post, which has subsequently been deleted.
“History will not be rewritten, no way,” she wrote. I sit back and watch and read people take credit for many things and it’s hard to digest at times because I know who has been and continues to be instrumental in driving a lot of the change behind the scenes but I won’t accept this at all. Is he kidding? His arrogance and ego nearly tore the place apart.”
And in a veiled swipe that implied Barrett had stopped listening to her father, who was the head of football for much of the former Dragon’s time at the club, she added: “The moment he stopped listening to experienced and smarter people than him and surrounded himself with those with no idea was the moment he was destined to fail as a rookie coach.”
It is understood Bob and Scott Fulton, the latter also tasked with recruitment at the club, played a role in signing some of the players Barrett was referring to.
Barrett had already infuriated club hierarchy when he claimed he was under-resourced while on the northern beaches, pointing to the fact he brought in his own backyard furniture for the team’s common room.
Hasler, however, has managed to mastermind a turnaround with a similar roster and facilities. Should Hasler’s men beat the Warriors on Friday night and South Sydney lose to Melbourne, they could find themselves in the top four by the end of the round.
Barrett has been linked to a role on the coaching staff at St George Illawarra, the club for which he played the majority of his football.
While coach Paul McGregor is expected to survive a disappointing season – the Dragons are still in contention for the wooden spoon – his assistants, Dean Young and Ben Hornby, may not receive new contracts.
Barrett has spent time with the All Blacks in recent weeks as part of his professional development and is being considered as a potential addition to the brains trust at the Red V.
Adrian Proszenko is the Chief Rugby League Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.