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

Hugh McGahan: Dragging saga out damages this club

Newly appointed head coach Andrew McFadden.
Newly appointed head coach Andrew McFadden.

The dust around the Warriors is not going to settle soon.

The ownership tussle, retention or replacement of the stand-in coach and ultimately the team's results will keep this organisation in the headlines for a while yet.

The owners need to get behind closed doors and not be so public about their issues. If Eric Watson wants Sir Owen Glenn out, then pay him what he is rightfully due without hesitation and move on.

It's not about money for men of this wealth. It's about their ego being stroked enough to walk away with their head held high and tail swishing in the air believing they have won.

Within four or five weeks, the management need to either sign Andrew McFadden to a definite term or sign another coach. Players won't be as committed to a cause if they don't know if the club and coach are committed to each other.

Players will do what they are told, but will only go through the motions out of obligation as an employee.

Confirming a longer-term coach is the only way everyone knows where they are going and, if it is McFadden, he can build properly with everyone on board.

He seems to have the support of the players, not because they didn't like Matt Elliot, but because they believe he can add more to the fabric of the club.

It's significant McFadden won the position of Stephen Kearney's assistant with the Kiwis on the back of player feedback to the NZRL. It shows the credentials he possesses - and more than the public are aware of.

The players have their part to play with any resurrection of this club, given they have contributed to its rabble status. The advances in equipment, training techniques, monitoring and statistical devices and advanced medical treatments have replaced some old values of training yourself.

The players need to act with integrity, to do what they know is right even when no one is looking. Don't take shortcuts, do the work required and do it with an intensity required to improve.

For too long the new-age way of training and preparing for the season or individual games has taken precedence over old-fashioned hard work. They need to heed the old cliche, 'love what you do, even if you weren't going to get paid'.

Previous generations played in a professional way but had full-time jobs to supplement what today's athletes earn and take for granted. Take a year off, work for a living, then train for weekend footie and you might appreciate your privileged position.

Fans do it day after day, year after year. Give a thought to them and not just a token one. Give them a motive to support you and this club.

- Herald on Sunday

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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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