More information has come to light about Jackson Hastings' departure to the Newcastle Knights after just one year in Concord, with sources close to the club alleging that a number of differences with new coach Tim Sheens were the driving cause behind his release.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that while some fans have been left frustrated by the club's willingness to release Hastings after being one of the team's best this year, sources in and around the club are claiming the 26-year-old was ‘hard to handle'.
That meant the Tigers were willing to let him go when the Knights shifted their attention away from Luke Brooks.
The fractured relationship is believed to have originated from Hastings' loyalty to previous coach Michael Maguire, who recruited him in the first place, and he continued to show support for Maguire long after the coach had been released by the club.
Things only got worse when Sheens made the decision to remove Hastings from the halves and into the lock-forward role. Though Hastings complied with the direction it was never his favoured role, and he'll likely be happy to return to the No.7 at Newcastle.
The Herald reports that there were a number of other, seemingly petty factors that played a role in the decision.
Hastings is also said to have failed to fill in a welfare survey that was required by the club, which was seen as an act of defiance, and there are also suggestions the club was unhappy with Hastings' use of social media to track his recovery from the broken ankle that ended his season.
Sheens has been unavailable for comment since the reports emerged.