Hugh McGahan 's Opinion

Hugh McGahan is a former Kiwis player and current columnist for the New Zealand Herald

Hugh McGahan: Only the best fit club dream

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Storm coach Craig Bellamy. Photo / Getty Images
Storm coach Craig Bellamy. Photo / Getty Images

It's irrelevant whether Brian McClennan made the decision to step down from the Warriors head coaching role or someone else made it for him; it's done. The focus is now on the best person to be offered the position.

Some weeks ago, there was a press conference by the Warriors outlining their vision for the organisation and how they were seeking to be the best sports franchise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Now that such a critical role within that vision is to be filled, they should not go into the market place and cast a net far and wide in the hope the best candidate applies for the job.

This is a head hunting campaign and they should offer it to the best person - and there have been noises coming out of the Warriors that they are doing that.

Currently it is assumed the three best people are Des Hasler, Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy.

You bombard them with your intentions, your dreams and your plan to achieve them - which includes them at the helm. Remember, these people must fit the vision of the club. To be the best, you must entice the best.

At present, I cannot see Bennett accepting this job, even if one of the Warriors owners, in particular Owen Glenn, was to throw money at him. That would become a war between himself and Newcastle Knights owner and multi-millionaire Nathan Tinkler. It would be an ego-driven affair, fighting for the title of who has the biggest pockets. No one wins that fight. Bennett is in the first year of a four-five year deal and will honour that arrangement.

Hasler is at a good club. Why would he leave the Bulldogs sitting at the top of the table?

That leaves Bellamy, who has one year left on his deal and would, at present, be top of the list for the Warriors. He fits the vision of the club and would drive a large part of it and is capable of meeting and even surpassing the goals. The only stumbling block would be his tenure at Melbourne with a year left on his contract.

Would he seek a release from it? My early suspicion is that, like Bennett, he is a values-based person and would also honour his contract. Bellamy would be welcomed in New Zealand and would instil a work ethic foreign to most players in the NRL. His drive, determination and desire is evident in his speech and his record speaks for itself; he is desperately needed and is the man for this role.

Other coaches do not fill the criteria but there is no doubting their abilities. Tim Sheens, Brian Smith and Steve Folkes are suggested names along with others and warrant consideration - but only after the above mentioned decline the offer.

Rookie coaches, failed coaches and similar need not apply. The rookie coach can be appointed to hang off the coat tails of the master and learn - and know that, in time, he will inherit the position.

Hugh McGahan

Hugh McGahan is a former Kiwis player and current columnist for the New Zealand Herald

Hugh Joseph McGahan MBE was a renowned rugby league player and coach who represented New Zealand in no less than 53 test matches, captaining 17 of them. Beginning his career in Auckland he later moved to Sydney where he played over 100 matches for the Roosters, finishing his career in 1991 as captain-coach of the eastern Sydney outfit. Accolades were never far away from the impressive Kiwi lock and in 1987 McGahan jointly won the prestigious Golden Boot Award, the first row forward at the time to win the award. Hugh McGahan’s international career was similarly impressive coming to the fore in 1982 after scoring a remarkable six tries for the Kiwis against Papua New Guinea in Auckland. Hugh Mcgahan ended his career with distinguished honours as he was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to rugby and later inducted into the NZRL Legends of League. He continues to write sports columns for the New Zealand Herald.

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