Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

NRL: Experience and ambition - possible contenders for Warriors

As another disappointing Warriors season ends, Michael Burgess looks over the possible head coach contenders for 2017.
Coach Andrew McFadden. Photo / Photosport
Coach Andrew McFadden. Photo / Photosport

Andrew McFadden

Age: 38

NRL Games: 66

Years as NRL coach: 2.5

Incumbent in role since May 2014. Enjoys life in New Zealand and stated earlier this year he wanted to be at Mt Smart for a decade. Has brought 13 players into first grade over past two seasons and most have performed well. Did well to turn around Warriors mid-season. Retains faith of playing group but disappointing results this year leave some question marks over his ability to get the best out of them. Only Ivan Cleary and Daniel Anderson have coached more games at Warriors.

Ivan Cleary

Age: 45

NRL Games: 252

Years as NRL coach: 10

Reached the finals in four of six seasons at Mt Smart, culminating in 2011 grand final, and brought players such as Shaun Johnson and Ben Matulino into first grade. Made preliminary finals with Penrith in 2014, and was named Dally M Coach of the Year, though missed top eight in other three seasons. Proven experience with multi-faceted, unique challenges of Warriors.

Geoff Toovey

Age: 47

NRL Games: 105

Years as NRL coach: 4

Became head coach of the Sea Eagles in 2012, after eight years as Des Hasler's assistant. Took Manly to grand final in 2013, and reached preliminary finals in 2012. Missed out on top eight in 2015 before surprise sacking amid talk of player unrest. Has plenty of big-game experience and accustomed to dealing with strong personalities. Entire playing and coaching career has been at Brookvale, so move to new club - and country - would require considerable transition period.

Stephen Kearney

Age: 44

NRL Games: 42

Years as NRL coach: 2

Years of experience working under Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett, and has achieved unprecedented success as national coach. Struggled with difficult assignment at the Eels but retains head coach ambitions. Close to many of Warriors playing group and rebuilt Kiwis culture over past two seasons. Mt Smart role would be steep learning curve.

David Kidwell

Age: 39

NRL Games: 0

Years as NRL coach: 0

Spent time in the Storm system under Bellamy as player and assistant coach and the past three seasons at the Tigers under Jason Taylor. Been part of Kiwis set-up since 2014. Untried at NRL level, though Warriors have gambled on rookie coaches in the past (with mixed results). Has confirmed interest in possible Warriors role.

Others to mention: Stacey Jones (great potential but likely to be considered for assistant coach role at this time), Justin Morgan (applied in 2012), Laurie Daley (unlikely to leave high-profile New South Wales role), Tim Sheens (four premierships and 669 NRL games but settled in England with Salford). Craig Bellamy and Des Hasler are on every club's wish list but both are under contract until the end of the 2017 season.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 26 Sep 2016 17:04:22 Processing Time: 436ms