Outgoing Warriors chairman Jim Doyle told Michael Burgess about the 13 key moments during his tenure at the club.
1. Grabbing RTS
On April 8, 2015, the Warriors signed Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, one of the NRL's hottest properties.
"We needed someone to build the club around. Roger was the No 1 target, even though we had Sam Tomkins at the time. I said to Roger, 'you've won a premiership with the Roosters, but if you win one with the Warriors, in 30 years, people will still be talking about the team that brought the trophy here for the first time'. I emphasised his chance for a legacy ... 'decades from now, people will know your name'. I knew that would be the right button to press."
2. Changing the culture
The lack of a winning culture at the Warriors had long been the talk of the NRL, and Doyle and coach Andrew McFadden set out to change that.
"We had two groups. There was a small group of professional players who trained, hydrated and slept properly so they could perform. But we had another probably bigger group of unprofessional players. Not all wanted to be unprofessional, they just didn't know how to be professional. And many of them were followers, but they were following the wrong people. So when the young ones were coming up, they would join the wrong group. So we knew we had to get some of them out and bring more who belonged to the first group."
3. Moving for Mooks
In something of a homecoming, Stephen Kearney was announced as Warriors coach on September 12, 2016.
"I've got a huge amount of respect for Stephen, as a person and coach. He failed at Parramatta because he chose the wrong club, at the wrong time. It was in turmoil. He felt he could make a difference but it was too much for him. We took a risk on him — and we got bagged for it. I always felt Stephen was the ideal coach for the Warriors, and because I knew him personally, it gave me the ability to have conversations with him off the record. I didn't want the speculation, I didn't want to do that to Cappy [McFadden] and was always quite open with him."
4. Keeping Cappy
On Kearney's arrival, the Warriors took the unusual step of retaining former coach McFadden.
"Cappy is a great coach and he'd started something but we needed a new voice, some fresh ideas and new thinking. When I first asked Stephen about keeping Cappy on, he was like, 'No, you can't do that'. We discussed it more and then Andrew and I flew to Brisbane, so everyone could talk. Losing what Cappy had started would have been detrimental to the club, especially the way he'd driven the concept of being a 24-hour athlete. It was a bit awkward for both of them at first but Cappy has added a lot of value."
5. Staying at Mt Smart
In 2016, Regional Facilities Auckland were hell-bent on moving the Warriors from Mt Smart and had seemingly persuaded Auckland Council it was the right move.
"This was a fundamental one, absolutely huge. We were due to be kicked out by 2018 and would be playing at Eden Park or North Harbour, which would have been a disaster for the club. We worked hard, talking to all the councillors and mayor. We also tried to improve the relationship with RFA. In the end, we secured a new 10-year deal."
6. The gang of six
Half a dozen Warriors players admitted mixing prescription drugs with energy drinks during a late night out after being hammered 42-0 by the Storm in last year's Anzac Day clash.
"I'd heard some things before I came here, and Andrew [McFadden] and I took the chance to draw a line in the sand. It was an opportunity to sort things out and clean the place up. We stood them down from the next game, and made them unavailable for the Kiwis. It was a tough call but we didn't want the young ones being led astray. From there on, the options were clear."
7. Signing Tohu Harris
The Warriors secured Kiwis back rower Tohu Harris last year, despite the Storm being keen to retain him.
"He was a huge piece of the puzzle and we knew Melbourne wanted to keep him. But there are always other factors. His wife had just had a baby and all the family is here. Stephen has a strong relationship with Tohu and we convinced him of the chance to leave a legacy and bring success to this club."
8. Counting on Corvo
Strength and fitness guru Alex Corvo has been credited with the Warriors' impressive conditioning gains in 2018.
"Stephen came to me last April and said we really need to take a step up in terms of fitness, mental toughness and mental strength. Alex had been pushed a bit to the side at the Broncos and it gave us an opportunity. We brought Alex over a few times, trying to convince him, to see what we were trying to do. He had massive respect for Stephen and wanted to help him out."
9. Retaining RTS
Last March, Tuivasa-Sheck signed a new deal, despite speculation linking him to rugby and another NRL club after the dismal 2017 season. It came almost 12 months to the day that he had been unveiled as the surprise choice as Warriors captain.
"Making Roger captain last year wasn't about the now, it was about the future, the next five or 10 years. When his contract was up, I didn't believe he would leave. But if you make him captain . . . there was no way he was leaving. And for him to sign another four-year deal — that was critical. If he'd left, it would've been a big blow. It would've shown a lack of confidence in the club and probably would've impacted commercially, too."
10. Hiring Cameron George
"We brought in Cameron as part of the succession plan for me to step out. I spent time with him when he was at Ellerslie, then brought him in as chief operating officer. That was part of my initial discussion with Eric [Watson]. I'd be CEO for a couple of years, then move to chairman. Cameron has been a great appointment."
11. The Foran affair
Kieran Foran arrived at the club amid an avalanche of publicity but struggled with injury and off-field issues, and left after one season.
"Hindsight's a wonderful thing. We felt we could get him right and he would help us. It didn't quite work out because of the various issues but you couldn't miss the opportunity. We didn't realise how much we'd have to do. We knew there'd be some dramas but not as much as there was. We thought we'd get a lot more positives than negatives."
12. Tough times in 2015
An injury to Shaun Johnson was the catalyst for an eight-game losing streak to end 2015.
"It highlighted the fact we needed to completely change our roster and do things differently. It showed what we were missing. We thought we had depth but even our young guys were victims of the system and not learning from true professionals."
13. Breaking down silos
On Doyle's arrival at Mt Smart, he made immediate changes to the office space.
"I took the large frosting off my office wall on my second day there, to make the place more transparent. I wanted to create a more open environment. It you're having a meeting, it shouldn't be in secret. If you need to have a confidential meeting, you have the boardroom to do that. The rest of the office was a corridor, with a whole lot of separate offices, like rabbit warrens. Over Christmas, we had all the walls knocked down."
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