April 23, 2024

“F***ing bulls**t”: Former NRL player talks up about South’s departure and makes a devastating charge about Demetriou.
The former NRL winger Josh Mansour has spoken out about his falling out with coach Jason Demetriou and his departure from the Rabbitohs, claiming that the coach “didn’t live up to what he was saying.”

Mansour recounted his 174-game career, including the Panthers’ decision to let him go following their loss in the 2020 championship game, in an interview with James Graham’s podcast, The Bye Round.

Mansour was able to sign a two-year contract with the Rabbitohs as a result of his departure. After playing 11 games in his rookie season under Wayne Bennett, he was benched by Demetriou, the following year’s coach.

On The Bye Round, the 33-year-old said that 2022 “was probably the toughest year of my career.”

He disclosed the discord that existed between him and Demetriou and identified the two events that precipitated it.

He said, “It was unfortunate that we couldn’t agree on anything. We just didn’t get along.”

Every time he spoke to me, it seemed like he fell short of what he was saying, and I allowed that to bother me.

“There were other conversations that simply didn’t proceed as he had anticipated. I always kept my word to him during our conversations because I am a man of my word.

“I was really irritated during my last year.”

He told me that I would be on the edge of things with Campbell Graham, nicknamed “Stretch,” during the preseason. He wanted me to develop my relationship with him and had complete faith in me.

“On Tuesday, when Round 1 is announced, he names the side. I was on the team. On Thursday, when the captain’s run is taking place, I arrive at work and receive a text from him asking me to come to his office.

“I found it a little strange,”

He assured me that he would give me a week off. I thought to myself, “Relax for that week?” If you felt I needed a break, why would you name me in Round 1?

“I just want you to get a couple of weeks under your belt,” he continued. Like, “Okay, no worries, everything is fine.”

I was to become the eighteenth man. Was I there when Captain Run happened? I didn’t want to be there, thus I was most definitely not present. I was completely crazy.

In Round 1, Taane Milne was chosen over Mansour. But, as the rugby league gods would have it, Blake Taaffe’s ankle injury during training swiftly changed everything. Taaffe was named at fullback.

Alex Johnston was moved to fullback by Demetriou, who also brought back Mansour for the flank. In the Rabbitohs’ 11-4 loss to the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, he scored the team’s lone try.

According to Mansour, there were “no conversations” with Demetriou after that. The next week, when Latrell Mitchell returned from a suspension at fullback and Johnston went back to the wing, Demetriou was demoted to reserve grade.

On the other hand, Mansour was called up in Round 5 and stayed there until Round 8, when South Sydney won three of those four games.

Despite being picked in the team, he was optimistic he would be back in Round 9. However, things took a different route.

On Captain’s Run, he texted me once more, and I replied, “I think I know.” I sensed that we will have a similar conversation to ours in Round 1.

“I already knew the answer when I went to my locker to see if my captain’s run jersey was hanging there. I was well aware of what was going to occur.

“I entered, and he told me right away that I would be resting you this week. I’m thinking, “Oh, for what?” I didn’t say that the first time, so I pressured him.

“I felt you missed too many tackles last week,” he says. “Can you show me?” I ask. And I forced him to mention it—it was like two tackles that went unnoticed.

“I had to sit on the lead because there was one, a four-on-two on the short side, ten meters off our line. (Garrick, Reuben) was

“What would you like to do there, I ask? like I gave it my all. “Yeah, that was a bit harsh,” he replied.

In the other, I kind of simply bumped off Garrick at the back, re-gripped, and took him to the ground after jamming him.

“I ask myself, ‘Am I getting fired for that?'” And he was unable to respond to me.

After that, he attempted rewinding for weeks. And I ask myself, “Am I getting fired for something that happened weeks ago, or am I getting fired for my performance last week?”He didn’t respond to me.

“I completely checked out starting that day onward. I walked out after slamming my chair and yelling, “This is f***ing bulls**t.”

The Rabbitohs’ Round 21 matchup against the Warriors on the Sunshine Coast gave Mansour hope that he might have another opportunity in first grade.

“I was going about my business in the gym, getting ready for training, when all of a sudden, he approached me and struck up a conversation.

“I’m just going to let you know, you’re pretty close,” he says. I’m quite pleased with the manner you’ve been practicing in reserve grade; you’ll soon be playing.

After that, Demetriou announced the squad, and Mansour was left out of the 17. However, there was a last-minute change to the backline that left Mansour out. For his NRL debut, Isaac Thompson was moved to the wing.

“I felt so dirty, but I was also so happy for Izaac.”From that point on, I let all those circumstances defeat me because, guess what? Control what you can control was a motto I used to live by, but I was unable to control that.

“Once more, I allowed my feelings to overcome me. I didn’t really care; I was just going through the motions. I couldn’t care less… All I wanted was not to be there.

“I was just annoyed because there was no reason to keep me there if I wasn’t going to play.” I could have found a release or something else if I had just looked elsewhere. Find a consistent time slot for first grade.

“But regrettably, I was stranded there.”

At the conclusion of that season, Mansour left the Rabbitohs, but not before receiving a final blow: a video announcement that he would not be re-signed.

“At the end of the year, we’re in the video room and they say, ‘We want to thank the guys that are leaving by putting in a little farewell video,'” Mansour remembered.

“I was the first one there. I didn’t even know that I was leaving. I was the first one on the clip.

“I wasn’t surprised with all the stuff that happened before. But yeah, it was a very sad time to leave Souths unfortunately.

 

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