The Warriors training ethic and methods have long been questioned by fans and critics but a gritty new documentary reveals the work the NRL club has put in towards achieving success after six seasons of bitter disappointment.
Sky Sports have been given unprecedented access into the club's inner sanctum to film a raw and largely uncensored two-part documentary titled Pre-Season With The Warriors, that goes behind the scenes showing the efforts gone to by the players, coaching staff and management in preparing for their upcoming premiership campaign.
Fans will enjoy seeing exactly how hard the players have been made to work over the summer months and gain a new insight into coach Stephen Kearney's personality and coaching style, and an introduction to the revamped brand of football he and his coaching staff have tailored to suit the side.
The two episodes also cover a day of training at the Bethells Beach sand dunes and follows the team on trips to Mangakino — where they help boost the local community after a fire ripped through the Hawks club rooms last August — and Papamoa, before going into camp for both the trial win over Melbourne in Rotorua and tonight's second hit-out against the Titans on the Sunshine Coast.
Nothing is off limits as the cameras get up close and personal with the players as they try to lift each other throughout gruelling conditioning sessions under new high performance trainer Alex Corvo, highlighting the leadership qualities and character of young players like Jazz Tevaga and new signings Adam Blair, Blake Green and Tohu Harris.
An early cut of the first episode hits hard from the outset, as Tevaga stresses the need to fight through adversity and fatigue, using blunt language to fire-up his teammates by reminding them of the lack of respect opposition sides and Australian players have for the Warriors.
"You know what they're thinking — they're thinking 'f***** stay with these c****, they're going to break, they always do'," says Tevaga.
"Let's f***** practice and train this shit. Head up, ready for any f***** job that they throw at us."
Reflecting on the disastrous club record nine consecutive losses that ended last season's miserable campaign, senior players Issac Luke, Simon Mannering, James Gavet and Shaun Johnson acknowledge public perceptions that the team lacked mental fortitude and the need for them to improve in that area to achieve better performances.
With the Warriors membership numbers in decline, CEO Cameron George hopes the documentary will help convince jaded supporters that the players and club staff are doing all they can to turn things around.
"We have a strategy to win back our fans and that's to win," said George.
"And we're under no illusions other than our fans are expecting us to win and when we start doing that they'll start supporting us.
"We really appreciate the support we get now but this documentary will show the people sitting on the fence how much work we're putting in to make them feel proud and hopefully they jump off the fence and into the grandstand."
The open and honest nature of the documentary has the potential to shock viewers unfamiliar with the hardnosed environment of an NRL club.
The project lifts the curtain on the man-management methods used by the notoriously private and publicly reserved Kearney and dispels the myth that he is more of a friend than a mentor to his players.
There is even some humour evident in the way Kearney lays down the law and challenges his players in team meetings and on the training paddock, as he strives to get the younger members of his side to believe in themselves and achieve their best.
"We've got nothing to hide here, so I didn't think it was a big issue when Cameron came to me about it," Kearney explains.
"I could understand where he was coming from so it didn't bother me and it didn't stop me from doing my job."
Viewers are also taken into the home of former Manly five-eighth Green and introduced to his wife Sarah and their young children Boston and Sadie, while the 31-year-old's influence on the side is also highlighted when he demands more from his new colleagues at training.
"I know it's a f***** tough day but there's plenty of other f***** shit things you could be doing," Green reminds them.
"The rest of this session our volume needs to f***** go right up, OK? I don't care if you're not a talker, you just communicate with the guy next to you, OK?
"That's how you get energy and that's how we get our shit done today, alright?"
Despite concerns over the amount of expletives, George insisted nothing be edited from the final cut to ensure an honest depiction of the Warriors environment.
"Its raw emotion. It's what our environment is like," said George.
"These guys work in a very tough environment and for our fans to get an insight into that raw emotion will be really exciting for them to see.
"It's an intense environment that takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to achieve in and you can't expect grown men at this level to be really PC.
"What I do expect is for them to be respectful in the right environments to our fans and members and corporate partners. And they know that and they are very respectful in those environments.
"But we went into their environment in this situation and I wanted them to be as raw and as passionate as what they always are regardless of whether there's cameras there or not."
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