WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - JULY 31: Matt Cooper of the Dragons makes a break during the round 21 NRL match between the St George-Illawarra Dragons and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at WIN Stadium on July 31, 2011 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Former St George Illawarra Dragons centre Matt Cooper has revealed he won't be joining the club as part of Shane Flanagan's coaching staff in 2024.

It was reported by Wide World of Sports last weekend that Cooper had been in discussions with the Dragons and incoming Shane Flanagan over becoming a specialist backline coach next year.

Cooper himself, who had a messy falling out with the club after his retirement and last year skipped a premiership reunion, is understood to have buried the hatchet with the Red V.

Wanting to help the club's young crop of backs, including Sione Fainu, the Feagai brothers and Zac Lomax, Cooper, who was rated as the best centre in the game during his career, has nort been backwards in publically calling for his appointment at the Dragons, and he at one stage believed the deal was locked up.

Flanagan, who has also been linked to a spot for Michael Ennis, denied both of those reports on 2GB Radio during the week, and Cooper has now confirmed himself that he won't be joining the club's coaching staff in 2024.

The centre didn't give up hope of coming on board for 2025 though, stating there was "hope" in his Tweet, and that the only reason he isn't joining this year is down to the fact there are too many staff with contracts carrying over into next season.

Flanagan has already shown aggression in restructuring the Dragons, bringing former player Dean Young back to the club to serve as an assistant, while he has also confirmed current interim coach Ryan Carr will continue for another season.

The coach has also made big changes on-field, blocking the request for a release from Ben Hunt, but granting one for Jayden Sullivan, while a handful of other players are also reportedly free to leave the joint-venture if they can land deals elsewhere.

Flanagan's appointment followed the axing of Anthony Griffin mid-year, with his two and a half year stint coming to a miserable end.