Bank managers must be reluctant to give out home loans once they find out you work as an NRL coach. The amount of turnover is massive and even coaches who are achieving good results aren’t safe (Anthony Griffin anyone?). Just how crazy this is can be observed by looking at a list of coaches from the start of the 2010 season, only Craig Bellamy and John Cartwright remain at their current clubs. While not all this turnover has been from coaches being sacked, it shows that renting might be a better option for the NRL masterminds, as you just don’t know how long you will be in town for.
From an outsiders perspective the suggestion that Mick Potter will not be offered a contract for 2015 is perplexing. Potter in my opinion has done an admirable job over the past two seasons considering the roster he inherited and the luck he has been given. While I obviously don’t know his relationship with the board and players, the Tigers are in a real position to make the eight this year and the media scrutiny has the potential to derail all the hard work done in the first nineteen weeks of the season.
Potter inherited the team last year after Tim Sheens was pushed out for falling out with his players. Ironically the same thing seems to be happening to Potter, suggesting to me that the problem may lie with the senior players rather than the coach.
The Tigers had an unheard of run of injuries in 2013 and struggled to get the same team on the park two weeks running. This was no fault of Potters and he was rightfully given a second chance. Heading into 2014 and things looked pretty bleak in the short term for the joint venture club. On paper they looked more like wooden spoon contenders than top eight hopefuls. Potter has done a marvellous job to even have the Tigers in a position to make the eight. He has introduced a lot of youngsters who have bright futures in James Gavet, David Noafuluma and Sauaso Sue, handled the introduction to first grade carefully and well for future superstars Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks, helped Aaron Woods to be one of the competitions best props and has overseen Adam Blair’s return to form.
All these achievements have given Tigers fans optimism for a bright future. These fans shouldn’t be discredited either as they have shown support for Potter through social media and arguably are responsible for him still having a job. To me the dumbest thing about the whole situation was holding an emergency board meeting last Sunday. This was always going to lead to a poor performance once the media got their hands on to it. Holding the meeting only a week after the team got their season back on track with a huge win over the Bulldogs is even crazier.
I see Potter as a coach in the same mould as Trent Robinson and Michael Maguire. All three have done their apprenticeships over in the Super League and have returned home after achieving well. The difference is Potter didn’t step into a club with superstars like Sam Burgess, Greg Inglis, Isaac Luke, Sonny Bill Williams, Boyd Cordner and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. So Tigers give him another shot regardless of this year’s final position. He has set the club up nicely and deserves to reap the rewards that come the Tigers way in 2015.
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