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Gould on the case.

Rich102

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
10,558
COVID-19 has hit the Warriors with a haymaker, but it's also given the NRL a chance to reassess how the club operates and could've inadvertently provided a silver lining.

That's the opinion of veteran coach, commentator, and now NZ Warriors consultant, Phil Gould.

"It's opened up some options in their thinking about the amount of travel they do in a normal season to and from New Zealand," Gould tells Newshub.

That includes a possible move away from alternating home and away fixtures, Gould says.

"Spend a month here in Australia and play four games then spend a month in New Zealand and play four in a row?" he suggests.

Longer blocks away would reduce travel and could be a win for the players, adds interim head coach Todd Payten.

"There are times when I think the lack of travel has helped us," Payten says.

"But there are other times when I believe the lack of a home ground advantage has hurt us."

As for 2021, planning has been underway for some time, and all options are being explored.

These include being based in Australia for the whole season, part of the season, or even a return to normality.

"Warriors management have been looking at all those contingencies," Gould says. "If they had to stay in Australia, where would they stay? If it's half and half, what does that look like?"

At this stage, Gould expects pre-season training in bubbles in January, and a competition start in mid-March.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/spor...ng-nz-warriors-future-scheduling-options.html
 

Leber

Bench
Messages
2,760
Good idea, but I’m not sure if the nrl would alter the draw to suit us. 4 home games, 4 away etc.
 

Blair

First Grade
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7,568
"Spend a month here in Australia and play four games then spend a month in New Zealand and play four in a row?" he suggests.

Longer blocks away would reduce travel and could be a win for the players, adds interim head coach Todd Payten...

But the boys like to sleep in their own beds.

Mooks, circa 2018.
 
Messages
12,934
But the boys like to sleep in their own beds.

Mooks, circa 2018.
There has been experiments over the years with staying in Aussie if a back to back away games.
The current playing group would have no issue with 4 games away now after this year, but I suspect most would still prefer to be home during the week.
 

Penrose Warrior

First Grade
Messages
7,306
Not that I've ever played an NRL game, but I think 4 on 4 off would suit us greatly. Hope it happens. Less effect of travel when we are away, and more continuity of routine being at home when we are.
 

SmashEmBro

Juniors
Messages
557
Also, has anyone seen that someone's created a Phil Gould Facebook page and posts as him... It's pretty funny stuff!
 

Big Marn

Juniors
Messages
2,277
dont a few Aussie teams like to have one of their away games in NZ? if they scheduled it right, we would have at least one 4 game period where every game is at "home" and then go away for 4 games.
 

SpaceMonkey

Referee
Messages
26,900
Hmm, the problem with that is it reduces travel but actually means a lot more time away from home and family. If you travel for a single game you’re likely only spending two nights or so away, and if you travel for back to back games on Sunday then Friday you can keep it to a week away. But a 4 game stretch means almost 4 weeks away at a time, it basically turns the team into FIFO workers with all the associated loss of family time those guys deal with.
 

Rich102

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
10,558
Ask Phil Gould what the ultimate success will look like for the Warriors and his answer is simple.

The former Penrith, Roosters and New South Wales coach, club administrator and high-profile league media personality was hired as a Warriors consultant last October, framed as another step in the quest to maximise the potential of the Auckland club.

It's a broad brush role, with a wide mandate, which involves working with many stakeholders, including the New Zealand Rugby League and Auckland Rugby League.
But Gould's primary aim is to help strengthen the foundations, to transform the Warriors into consistent contenders.

The 62-year-old isn't short of theories, mantras and knowledge, from a lifetime in the sport, but it boils down to a single factor; the Warriors need to evolve into a team dominated by home grown talent.

"It's absolutely essential, over a period of time" says Gould. "That would be my view, that would be my recommendation. It's essential that happens.

"I don't know the real history of the Warriors as to where that is at…but that's the way for long-term success, that's a way for identity, that's the way for culture."

It's far from a new idea, but Gould's view – and influence behind the scenes - adds weight at a critical juncture.

For much of the last decade the club often looked outside for solutions, from Sam Tomkins to Ryan Hoffman to Blake Green to Adam Blair. Most high profile current players are 'imports' – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Tohu Harris, Addin Fonua-Blake and Kodi Nikorima – while Reece Walsh was an unpolished gem snaffled from the Broncos.


But it hasn't always been that way. The highpoint for local products was the 2011 season, when the club reached the grand final across all three grades, the culmination of years of work by former coach Ivan Cleary and his lieutenants.

A third of the current team are Australian and among the established first graders, only four (Bunty Afoa, David Fusitu'a, Chanel Harris-Tavita and Jazz Tevaga) have come through the grades.

But there are some promising signs, with the investment in youth (Adam Pompey, Rocco Berry, Eliesa Katoa, Edward Kosi et al) and Nathan Brown's willingness to give youngsters early opportunities.​


Gould's priorities are two-fold; work with stakeholders to improve the standards and structures of the sport locally, then ensure that more talent ends up funnelled towards the Warriors.

"There is no doubt there is a pool of talent here," says Gould. "But if there's not the opportunity or perceived pathway at the Warriors there are other pathways and opportunities at 15 other clubs.

"Around 27 per cent of the current NRL players come from New Zealand. So, why didn't [more of them] come through the Warriors? That's what we need to answer.

"To sell rugby league in this country, the Warriors need to be successful, and they need to be reflective of the demographic here. The Warriors will be at their best when the vast majority of their roster is home developed."

Attracting more of the best local talent is a complex issue, one the club have been wrestling with for years. There's no easy answer, but Gould is determined to help with the solution.

Gould made his name as a young coach at Penrith, taking the club to two grand finals (1990 and 1991) before five seasons at the Roosters and two successful stints with New South Wales.

His most recent role was general manager of the Panthers (2011-2019). Not everything went smoothly (Cleary was sacked in 2015, before being brought back in 2018) but Gould was a driving force behind the transformation of the club off the field.

The environment is very different in Sydney, especially with the junior development pathways, but Gould says it's possible to transplant ideas.

"The things that are important to building a club and the process that you go through are well documented and well proven," says Gould. "The issue for me is learning more about the Warriors and the situation here in New Zealand and seeing what's possible and how best they can do it.

"But there are basics around forming a club, developing talent and forming an identity for the logo on your jersey. When people see your jersey, what do they feel, what do they believe, what do they expect? What does it mean to be Rooster or a Panther or a Bronco? And what does it mean to be a Warrior, what sets us apart?"

Despite the modern day cult of the coach, Gould says a club should have an ethos that is seamless and consistent, regardless of who is in the hot seat.

"Clubs are often the victim of changing - every time they change the head coach they change the culture," says Gould. "Coaches manage the personnel, develop the talent and win football games, but the club culture; how the club develops and recruits and builds relationships…that should never change."

Gould says "chemistry" wins premierships ("the right players at the right stage of their career in the right environment") while culture is the foundation.

So, where to start? Gould has a long list. Priorities are getting more Warriors development teams and improving the base in New Zealand. As an example, he played a role in persuading the NRL to increase the NRZL's funding, which facilitated the new national Under-20 competition.

"It's a long race," says Gould. "It's a journey. But the Warriors should be a source of inspiration and aspiration for young kids in this country, [who] want to play the game at a high level and be part of this club."

Twice a week Gould's alarm clock goes off at 4am.

He leaves his home in the south of Sydney soon afterwards, hitting the highway for the drive north to Tuggerah, arriving at the Warriors' training base around 7:30am.

Gould might sit in on the team meetings or video sessions, then catch up with staff, before taking in the training run.

"I'm just there to lend a hand," says Gould. "I'm not doing anything, just being a part of the club, because I can't do the other job that I was actually asked to do because of Covid.

"I go to the games if I haven't got a Channel Nine commitment, go to the corporate box or whatever, just trying to help. In the small way that I can just be a part of the club, until such times as we can get around to doing the job that I've been asked to do."

Gould, who made his first grade debut in 1976 and played for the Panthers, Newtown Jets, Bulldogs and Rabbitohs, is a league tragic. He watches every NRL game, every weekend and would often spend from "midnight to dawn" studying VHS tapes in his coaching heyday.

His life – as a pundit and analyst – still revolves around the game, though nothing replaces being on the grass.

"I've always missed coaching," says Gould. "It was part of me for a long time. But, you know, I miss playing, more than I miss coaching. That's why we all got into this game because we love playing it. We get too old to play it and we think we can coach it. Eventually, we can't even do that so we find something else to do."

 

Sanchez

Coach
Messages
14,346
I do agree in that think we should play a lot more 2 game away stretches. 2 games in the same state, say Saturday one week, Friday the next (or Sunday then Saturday), that way they are only away say 9-10 days. More so earlier in the season that can disguised as team building
 

Matua

Bench
Messages
2,515
The Warriors have invested in youth lots in the past to little success. They're as often as not picking the wrong youth to invest in.

and they need to be reflective of the demographic here.

This is true, yet I feel they are currently the least reflective of the demographic of any time in their history.
 

nswarrior

Juniors
Messages
466
We have a lot of $$$ with Roger, Ken etc leaving so hopefully we get a few more quality players.

Maybe bring princess back even though he was traitor - may have matured too and not such a Princess anymore
 

SpaceMonkey

Referee
Messages
26,900
I do agree in that think we should play a lot more 2 game away stretches. 2 games in the same state, say Saturday one week, Friday the next (or Sunday then Saturday), that way they are only away say 9-10 days. More so earlier in the season that can disguised as team building

yeah I think 2 game trips are the sweet spot. Fly in Saturday, play Sunday, spend the week in camp together then play fri/sat and fly home the next morning. Teams often play consecutive home or away games already so that would be relatively easy to fit into the schedule, and would mean the players get the best part of three weeks at home in between trips so it’s not too onerous on family life.
 

SpaceMonkey

Referee
Messages
26,900
We have a lot of $$$ with Roger, Ken etc leaving so hopefully we get a few more quality players.

Maybe bring princess back even though he was traitor - may have matured too and not such a Princess anymore
Honestly holding a grudge about SJ makes us look pretty shabby. He acted like a princess but the club didn’t exactly handle the whole thing ideally either by letting it blow up publicly while he was on tour. He got to test himself out in the market and play for another club, and didn’t really achieve much different there than he has at the Warriors so he‘s had a reality check now and knows it wasn’t the club holding him back, an impression I often used to get from him.
 
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Was on Sunday Footy Show today, discussing Mulitalo situation, leaving NZ as wanted to play league, discussing junior league not having the avenues in NZ (he may have said it dying).

No discussion how he going to fix it.

Also had us in 8th out of loyalty, not sure Sterlo's excuse for having us in the 8.

Hopefully he using his last work origin speech when he in Warriors camp.
 

Matua

Bench
Messages
2,515
Was on Sunday Footy Show today, discussing Mulitalo situation, leaving NZ as wanted to play league, discussing junior league not having the avenues in NZ (he may have said it dying).

No discussion how he going to fix it.

Also had us in 8th out of loyalty, not sure Sterlo's excuse for having us in the 8.

Hopefully he using his last work origin speech when he in Warriors camp.
Sheesh, then there was definitely no way hey should have been representing Queensland.

TBH, wouldn't the best thing for league in NZ to be, if we can't build the avenues, to tell players to play 1st XV rugby in the good schools. This will cover the professionalism, training ethics etc, and then there can be league camps etc or final years in Oz schools to get the nuances of the game instilled.
 
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