FORMER Knights star Marc Glanville said yesterday Newcastle’s decision to suspend mid-season contract negotiations because of the team’s poor form had backfired and allowed the Canberra Raiders to sneak under their guard to snare forward Joel Edwards on a three-year deal.
But Glanville also questioned the tactics of Edwards’s manager, Daryl Mather, in rejecting a similar three-year offer from the Knights earlier in the season for the Cessnock junior.
Mather said Edwards was happy about the decision to join Canberra next year, but he and Edwards have refused to comment further on the move until the end of this season.
It is understood that the Knights had offered Edwards a three-year deal worth about $600,000 earlier this season, which was initially rejected by Edwards’s management.
Knights coach Wayne Bennett then suspended all contract negotiations, because of poor team form.
Edwards was later offered a two-year deal worth about $300,000.
Glanville said it was disappointing that the wrangling and stalling from both parties had forced a Newcastle junior out of the club.
‘‘I think his manager wanted to shop around and see what else he could get, baulk and try to ask for more,’’ he said.
‘‘Instead of maybe Joel saying, ‘Listen mate, I think it’s good, I’m keen to stay, let’s sign it and get it done with,’ he sort of held them off ... if I was Joel I’d be questioning my manager.
‘‘In saying that, it’s probably disappointing again for the area to lose a junior given that he’s come up through the system. You can’t keep all your players, which is hard, but given that, I’m sure he would have loved to have stayed here.’’
Raiders coach David Furner declared Edwards would complement his squad and denied Canberra would have to squeeze other forwards out of the club to acquire him.
There has been speculation over the futures of versatile forwards Bronson Harrison and Trevor Thurling at the Raiders.
‘‘I think it’s going to be a good buy,’’ Furner said.
‘‘It’s about building a squad that’s super competitive.
‘‘His defence is exceptional, he’s nice and aggressive and I like that about him ... he’s a style of player who will suit our forwards and style of play.’’