New Warriors head coach Nathan Brown has revealed the abrupt details of his appointment with the club, confirming the deal was done over the course of a day.
The Auckland club confirmed Brown as the man to lead them into their next era, signing a three-year contract with full-time duties commencing in early November. They also confirmed NRL great Phil Gould would be joining the club as a consultant.
Brown, 47, was among a number of candidates to rule themselves out of the running for the role after Stephen Kearney was sacked in late June, but quickly emerged as a front-runner when interim coach Todd Payten turned down the role earlier this week.
Brown admitted he had not had any form of conversation with the club about taking on the role prior to Thursday, when he ultimately signed on.
"I spoke to Robbo (club owner Mark Robinson) on Thursday. That was the first time we'd had any dialogue about me coming to work for the Warriors, and we got the deal done basically within a couple of hours," Brown said.
"Maybe I should have had that convo two months ago. At the time it just didn't feel right, even though I thought it was a great opportunity. Then the time did feel right.
"One thing I maintained was that the Warriors was a great opportunity for any coach that got the opportunity," Brown said of initially withdrawing himself from consideration. "I had one or two concerns and I've had private conversations with (the club) since and I'm very comfortable with the opportunity I've been given now and am very much looking forward to it."
Brown spent time with the club earlier in the year in a consultancy role, working alongside the club's hookers. At the time, club chief executive Cameron George was quick to shut down suggestions he could end up taking the top job should Kearney depart.
Now, having done just that, Brown said he has a good base from which to approach making his presence felt in the role.
"I saw a very hungry squad and a group of blokes who want to listen and want to get better, and that's a very good starting base."
The announcement comes on the back of the Warriors' strong 26-22 win over the Manly Sea Eagles on Friday night, after which Payten suggested the club was only two key players away from a competitive roster.
It appeared Brown didn't quite share the same sentiment however, with the incoming coach noting while the club shows potential when they have "enough talent on the field" there was plenty of work still to be done in establishing a competitive team.
Brown didn't shy away from acknowledging he wasn't joining the club to make them a contender immediately, but that the process would take time and consistency was the end goal.
"To get the major prize, that takes a lot of hard work – and that's what the end goal is. It's about improving the roster and improving the players within the squad in the short-term," Brown said.
"The key to any club is sustained success...you need to have sustained success and consistently play finals football. Because you only win big games by practice and unfortunately for the Warriors of late, they've had the odd [finals] appearance here and there, but when they had Daniel Anderson and Ivan Cleary in charge, they had consistent finals performances and then you get a grand final. That's what it's all about.
"It's not about instant success, it's about building something sustainable that gets you consistency, and that consistency gives you an opportunity. You can't just wave a magic wand and all of a sudden, you're going to win something. It just doesn't work like that - if it did you wouldn't be having this conversation with me now."