Shane Flanagan has been tipped to take over from Michael Maguire as Wests Tigers coach.
But for the first time in a long time the beleaguered joint venture are putting the building blocks in place to ensure they can work towards sustained success.
That’s the view of The Daily Telegraph’s Paul Kent, who has lauded Maguire’s approach at the Tigers.
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Maguire, he argued on NRL360 on Fox League, was doing something a Tigers coach hadn’t done in over ten years: think about the long-term future of the club.
Ever since the end of Tim Sheens’ tenure it’s been a long downward spiral with a lengthy finals drought ensuring more misery for Tigers fans.
“The last couple of years of Sheens into Mick Potter, Jason Taylor, Ivan Cleary and then Madge. every one of those coaches I believe, including Sheens in his latter years, was guilty of making short term decisions for job security.,” Kent said.
“So they paid far too much in the cap, they paid overs for too many years on players that weren’t delivering. Michael Maguire is the guy who has come in and said this has to end. He’s taking some pain.
“(But) The solution lies in what they’re starting to do but is being noticed around the game is they are making long-term decisions.
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“Maguire has this academy going and they’ve had all these juniors that they have been losing through bad decisions at management level so Michael Maguire has recommitted the club to junior development and they are starting to get the fruits of its now. It’s on its way up now. I wrote about Manly and how they got Blacktown as a feeder club.
“People blew up, but Manly recognised they needed somewhere they could get their elite players into to teach them how to play NRL football from a young age. Madge is the first coach in 10 years to do this. You cannot turn it around in one, two or three years.”
Sheens will return to the club later this year.
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But Kent’s Daily Telegraph colleague, Phil ‘Buzz’ Rothfield said that and Maguire was not enough to turn the club around.
He argued that the club needed fresh blood to turn their fortunes around after writing in his Telegraph that Flanagan could make a good replacement.
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“You look at Canterbury and there’s light there and there’s good players coming through,” he said.
“There’s no light at the Wests Tigers. I think Shane Flanagan can build a premiership roster. I think he’s got a history of doing that. I am happy with Cameron Ciraldo, I’d try and convince Wayne Bennett from going back to Brisbane.
“If I was the Tigers I’d take an open cheque and say would you come and fix this joint?”
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