<big>Marshall, Farah caged Tigers
Brent Read From: The Australian April 29, 2011 12:00AM</big>
WESTS Tigers coach Tim Sheens may be leaving but Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah are going nowhere.
Sheens, the subject of a massive offer from Penrith for next season, is expected to inform the club today of his plans.
Should he go, Tigers supporters can be comforted by the fact none of their star players – Marshall and Farah included – will follow him in 2012.
Marshall, who has played all his football under Sheens, signed a long-term contract with the Tigers early last year. While he and the coach enjoy a long-standing relationship, The Australian understands Marshall did not have a get-out clause inserted should Sheens leave the club.
Neither did Farah, another player to have spent his entire first-grade career under the four-time premiership winner. It means the Tigers’ playing stocks will remain strong if the man who put them together leaves at season’s end.
Sheens, who has received an offer believed to be worth as much as $2 million over the next four years from the Panthers, dodged the media yesterday, pulling out of his scheduled press conference and leaving Farah and assistant coach Peter Gentle to handle it.
Neither could shed light on the coach’s plans, although Farah revealed teammate Liam Fulton barged into Sheens’ office yesterday morning demanding answers.
“He hasn’t really told us much,” Farah said. "He has kind of kept things to himself. Liam stormed in to his office this morning demanding to know what’s going on.
“I think just like players, I think Tim has the right to weigh up every option out there. He will come up with the right decision and we will respect whatever decision he does make.”
Farah admitted speculation over Sheens’ future could become a distraction, particularly if it lingered for weeks. That’s not expected to happen. Sheens is likely to give the club an answer today.
“The boys do talk about it, no doubt,” Farah said.
"It was spoken about this morning. I don’t think it’s a distraction as yet but if it does drag on for weeks heading into the next few games, it probably will become a distraction.
"So hopefully Tim will make up his mind soon. It would help out the players, it would help out Tim and I guess it would help out the club.
“If he does decide to move on we have to be on the look-out for a replacement. So I think for all parties concerned, a quick decision would be the best.”
Sheens and the Tigers have held contract discussions for months. But the game’s most experienced coach provided an insight into his thinking in February.
“You always worry about . . . losing the dressing-room but in saying that, if your ideas are fresh and you get a turnover of people who are listening and doing what you want them to do, that’s not an issue,” Sheens said at the time.
Farah insisted Sheens still had the dressing-room.
“Sheensy, from the first year he coached me to now, he’s a different coach,” Farah said.
"He’s always changing and that’s why he’s survived in the game for so long.
“We would definitely like to see him stay here. But if he doesn’t want to be here or wants to go somewhere else, we have to move on. In saying that, he’s someone we don’t want to lose.”