Mitchell wants Lions return

Suspended head coach John Mitchell believes he still has something to offer to the Lions.

Mitchell was suspended in June after complaints from players about his strict management ways. It’s believed that the Kiwi coach has been found not guilty, with chairman Peter Bam making a final call on proceedings.

During Mitchell’s absence, forwards coach Johann Ackermannn took charge of the team on an interim basis and led the Lions to the Currie Cup semi-finals. has it on good authority that Ackermann is the favourite candidate to take over the post permanently.

However, Mitchell confirmed in a press release that he wants his position back at the Johannesburg union.

‘I want my head coach position back at the Lions,’ read the statement. ‘There is some unfinished business to do with the Lions. Furthermore, I am determined that my future will be in South Africa.’

Mitchell’s representatives at The Fordham Company also hoped that the Lions will be respond quickly to their client’s wishes to continue as head coach.

‘Even though John has been cleared of these particular allegations, the GLRU, through its lawyers, is not prepared to release details to John or his lawyers,’ said the statement. ‘That’s pretty amazing considering the damage that this action taken by the GLRU has done to John’s reputation and brand.

‘Furthermore, the GLRU’s lawyers have advised John’s lawyers that they are not prepared to release the findings and recommendations pertaining to the remaining nine charges brought against John unless John agrees to sign a confidentiality undertaking. One would have to question why this information is being withheld.’

In reply, the Lions have said in a statement: ‘In terms of the independent chairperson’s findings and recommendations, the GLRU will engage John in discussions which by the nature of the employment relationship are private and confidential and cannot be disclosed.’