Slippery Eel signs with Raiders

RICKY Stuart has officially jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, unveiled yesterday as Canberra's coach for the next three years after quitting the top job at Parramatta just last week.

But the former Raiders premiership player said good communication with players would help prevent many of the off-field problems that had derailed Canberra's campaign this year.

"It's healthy towards your future success, trying to eliminate as much as you can in regards to off-field dramas and discipline problems," Stuart said.

Seen from the outside as a hard taskmaster, Stuart said he always tried to be fair with the players.

"I'd like people to see or know that there's a lot of work that goes on behind the scene in regards to the welfare and care of the players," he said.

"Sometimes what's said behind closed doors and the cuddle you can give a player is actually a big part of the player growing up and maturing."

Stuart spent the morning talking to coaching staff and players yet to leave on their end-of-season break.

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