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This time last year, Phil Gould was right… like him or loathe him..

Messages
8,480


Rugby league legend Phil Gould has launched a passionate defence of Dragons coach Paul McGregor, saying the club's problems run much deeper than the head coach.

Gould's comments came after McGregor's side put in yet another dismal performance, failing to score a try in their second consecutive match after the NRL's hiatus.

Having undertaken a review of the Dragons at the end of last season, Gould suggested that the club's problems will take years to fix and that sacking McGregor wasn't the solution.

"What I believe is that sacking Paul McGregor is not going to solve one thing for that club," he told 100% Footy.


"It might make the fans feel happy. It might give some players an excuse to get his finger out of his backside and actually do something, but it's not going to actually help the situation as it is right now.

"All the things that got them into this situation are a build-up of things over a long period of time.

"One of the very few things they could do during the off-season was to actually bring in a premiership-winning coach in Shane Flanagan onto their coaching staff, but things are still struggling on the field, so it's not just all about the coaching.

"Wherever they take the review, they've got to understand that it's a long-term fix. They are not going to fix it with a quick-term solution.


"There are a lot of things in that club that need to be fixed. How many of those can be fixed overnight? Very, very few.

"There has to be a discussion over what you can afford to do now, and what is the club going to look like in two years, five years, 10 years down the track."

Gould admitted that his conversations with McGregor and the since-departed club CEO Brian Johnston were "very harsh", but said the review wasn't centered around the coaching position.

The legendary coach said he was unsure whether the findings of the review had actually been implemented due to the departure of Johnston from the club.


All the other big things that need to be done for the club, I've got no idea who's driving that.

"Two months later, the CEO Brian Johnston resigned and so he's not there looking after what we discussed."

Gould refused to reveal the intricate details and the findings of the review, but explained how it revealed a series of long-term issues at the club.

"The first part of that was to identify exactly what they felt was the issues within the club, which we got to the bottom of," he said.
 

thebigredv

Bench
Messages
3,701
Am I the only one reading this and re-reading thinking "what are these problems then"? As fan we have been waiting years and all we are still getting absolute trash out on the field. Relatively speaking, we get the same shot at the trophy as the other 15 teams, we got the same cap, our players have good facilities...not saying there isn't issues beyond what we see - clearly there is - but a little bit of success against the odds would be nice too.
 
Messages
8,480
Am I the only one reading this and re-reading thinking "what are these problems then"? As fan we have been waiting years and all we are still getting absolute trash out on the field. Relatively speaking, we get the same shot at the trophy as the other 15 teams, we got the same cap, our players have good facilities...not saying there isn't issues beyond what we see - clearly there is - but a little bit of success against the odds would be nice too.

Gould was asked to come in, review and offer advice. Whatever he found it’s between him and the club. In all that, he’s seen things from an objective point of view. A guy who’s helped build two powerhouses from rubble (roosters and panthers).

Here’s a guy who’s built empires from scrap yet our club has chosen to snub his advice. A club whose not exactly had to call in a cabinet-maker to extend the trophy shelves in the last 40 years…

Our opportunity was to sign this bloke up and rebuild our empire. But we let that ship sail…
 
Messages
817
Am I the only one reading this and re-reading thinking "what are these problems then"? [...]

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Messages
550
Gould was asked to come in, review and offer advice. Whatever he found it’s between him and the club. In all that, he’s seen things from an objective point of view. A guy who’s helped build two powerhouses from rubble (roosters and panthers).

Here’s a guy who’s built empires from scrap yet our club has chosen to snub his advice. A club whose not exactly had to call in a cabinet-maker to extend the trophy shelves in the last 40 years…

Our opportunity was to sign this bloke up and rebuild our empire. But we let that ship sail…
Just like we preferred to sign Tony Caine over Danny Buderus. ( So I've been told...)
Just like we offered Wayne Bennett only 3 years when he wanted 5.
Just like we pay overs to get average footballers showing that a) we have no faith in our juniors and b) that we can't attract top flight players at all or second-tier players without a sweetener.

We contested 4 grand finals in the 1990s, since then we have contested 1. Never mind the 31 year Premiership drought - it is 11 years since we contested a Grand Final - which is the longest break between Grand Finals for a St George ( or faux St George ) team since the 1930s. And I don't see that changing in 2022 with a team of disinterested journeymen, coached by a guy with the personality of a beige matchstick with the sulphur scratched off.
 

Forbes Creek Dragons

First Grade
Messages
5,074
Is it any wonder we got blown away in the 2nd half
Imagine coming into the sheds pumped up - then having to listen that voice
I watch the post match presser and get drowzy
Yeah but they are all grown men and professional athletes. Does a halftime speech really have that much impact? Never did for me. Everyone knows if they were playing shit or not it’s just a chance to catch your breath and reset. Our problems lie in the fact we are error ridden and don’t have a good enough pack. We end up on the wrong side of the possession stats for way too long a period and are too gassed. My hope is Hunt is fully fit all year and the new additions to the pack make a difference. Without a doubt Sua and Molo should.
 
Messages
2,937
A board without standards and ambition

The bright spot for the club is our CEO Webb.

Hook recognised the culture was a problem and has let various players go.

Losing Vaughan mid season was a huge blow and diminished an already underpowered pack.

Hook in my view despite the clamouring of the fans, blooded the S G Ball stars progressively during the season to avoid destroying their confidence, and to ease them into the physicality of first grade.

The kids have shown great willingness and promise.

With a much stronger forward pack and a few tweaks 2022 will be a much better year for the red V.
 

Coffs dragon

Bench
Messages
3,663
There seems to be many problems with our JV club starting from the top with Spruce Gordon & his son Flush Gordon.
IMO we still look like a club that is heartless and has no soul.

The fact we have 2 home grounds, half the players live in Sydney & half the Illawarra, Saints Leagues seems to house the Management & Wollongong has football operations.
Is it any wonder the club has no heart, when it genuinely doesn’t know where it’s real home is or should be.
These Flogs at the pigs trough need to bite the bullet & make the decision on 1 home and come together.

I’m an old Saints man, but even I can see our future lies in the Illawarra and making that our home and heart.
The West Tigers face the same situation as the Dragons,
lacking a true identity and heart.
 

Trifili13

Juniors
Messages
229
The important thing, and what most good clubs do, is able to spot talent and nurture it. If they are no good they get rid of them, not hanging onto them and praying that they improve in the next 2 to 3 years. While Mary and Hook might not be the best coaches, the first 13 minutes of yesterday's second half is all down to a piss poor effort by the players. Blaming half time speeches to me is nonsense. As FCD said above, how much impact does a speech really have? And if it does, what does that say about the character of the player and team if they need someone to tell them to pull their finger out or what they are doing wrong. We were playing ok in the first half, scored right on halftime and had the momentum. Unlikely Hook or any other coach would have said "we have this game so don't worry about tackling or putting in the effort boys".

In an ideal world I would only keep half of our team. The rest are free to go. It's not as if we would be letting going of a consistent semi finals team or god forbid a premiership winning team.

Sims to me has been a real disappointment. He played out of his skin against Newcastle earlier this year as well as in SOO but can barely recall any other top performance he put in. If he did, that's 3 or 4 games out of over 20 rounds. And he is supposed to be one of the experienced players and leaders. Can't recall the last big hit he put on to inspire his team. You can't use the excuse he is playing with better quality players at SOO as putting on a hit is an individual effort. You don't need to have an immortal standing next to you to put on a hit.
 

Rob Dragon 1

Juniors
Messages
172


Rugby league legend Phil Gould has launched a passionate defence of Dragons coach Paul McGregor, saying the club's problems run much deeper than the head coach.

Gould's comments came after McGregor's side put in yet another dismal performance, failing to score a try in their second consecutive match after the NRL's hiatus.

Having undertaken a review of the Dragons at the end of last season, Gould suggested that the club's problems will take years to fix and that sacking McGregor wasn't the solution.

"What I believe is that sacking Paul McGregor is not going to solve one thing for that club," he told 100% Footy.


"It might make the fans feel happy. It might give some players an excuse to get his finger out of his backside and actually do something, but it's not going to actually help the situation as it is right now.

"All the things that got them into this situation are a build-up of things over a long period of time.

"One of the very few things they could do during the off-season was to actually bring in a premiership-winning coach in Shane Flanagan onto their coaching staff, but things are still struggling on the field, so it's not just all about the coaching.

"Wherever they take the review, they've got to understand that it's a long-term fix. They are not going to fix it with a quick-term solution.


"There are a lot of things in that club that need to be fixed. How many of those can be fixed overnight? Very, very few.

"There has to be a discussion over what you can afford to do now, and what is the club going to look like in two years, five years, 10 years down the track."

Gould admitted that his conversations with McGregor and the since-departed club CEO Brian Johnston were "very harsh", but said the review wasn't centered around the coaching position.

The legendary coach said he was unsure whether the findings of the review had actually been implemented due to the departure of Johnston from the club.


All the other big things that need to be done for the club, I've got no idea who's driving that.

"Two months later, the CEO Brian Johnston resigned and so he's not there looking after what we discussed."

Gould refused to reveal the intricate details and the findings of the review, but explained how it revealed a series of long-term issues at the club.

"The first part of that was to identify exactly what they felt was the issues within the club, which we got to the bottom of," he said.
Almost everything Gould said/wrote/advised is correct. He is a disingenuous bastard though. I could have written this review from my loungeroom. McGregor absolutely had to go and we are significantly better without him. I find it interesting that Gould has not moved to appoint McGregor at the Bulldogs?

And of course it is a long term fix. We all know that. Thanks Phil. How insightful. And of course we know that the problems are deeper then the coaching situation. Thanks Phil. How insightful.

Everywhere Phil Gould goes; every position he takes ends in acrimony and distaste. He is a loathsome character really.

And so where do we land after all of this? Nothing changes, nothing unless the BOD's resign on mass and are replaced with corporate executives who have a hard edged business acumen.; something Gordon, Doust and Young lack. As an aside the types we need are out there in corporate world and are willing to get involved, but it will never happen.
 

Trifili13

Juniors
Messages
229
There seems to be many problems with our JV club starting from the top with Spruce Gordon & his son Flush Gordon.
IMO we still look like a club that is heartless and has no soul.

The fact we have 2 home grounds, half the players live in Sydney & half the Illawarra, Saints Leagues seems to house the Management & Wollongong has football operations.
Is it any wonder the club has no heart, when it genuinely doesn’t know where it’s real home is or should be.
These Flogs at the pigs trough need to bite the bullet & make the decision on 1 home and come together.

I’m an old Saints man, but even I can see our future lies in the Illawarra and making that our home and heart.
The West Tigers face the same situation as the Dragons,
lacking a true identity and heart.
Agree, they are hedging their bets trying to appease 2 sets of supporters. Bite the bullet and make a decision. As a Dragon's supporter from the the early 70s and can see Jubilee Oval from my back yard, it will be sad but I think our future is in the Illawarra due to its population size and we must nuture the juniors playing there and supplement with the juniors from the St George district and not abandon it.

Is it a coincidence that the only other current merger the Tigpies are also struggling with their 4 home grounds and can't attract a top level player despite having a premiership winning coach and offering overs, while the only other merger/JV the Northern Bears no longer exist? That's 3 out of 3 merger/JV's struggling or not existing. I'm no genius but that's a pattern I think.
 

Trifili13

Juniors
Messages
229
Almost everything Gould said/wrote/advised is correct. He is a disingenuous bastard though. I could have written this review from my loungeroom. McGregor absolutely had to go and we are significantly better without him. I find it interesting that Gould has not moved to appoint McGregor at the Bulldogs?

And of course it is a long term fix. We all know that. Thanks Phil. How insightful. And of course we know that the problems are deeper then the coaching situation. Thanks Phil. How insightful.

Everywhere Phil Gould goes; every position he takes ends in acrimony and distaste. He is a loathsome character really.

And so where do we land after all of this? Nothing changes, nothing unless the BOD's resign on mass and are replaced with corporate executives who have a hard edged business acumen.; something Gordon, Doust and Young lack. As an aside the types we need are out there in corporate world and are willing to get involved, but it will never happen.
Totally agree. Do you really need to bring someone in to tell you a team coming near the bottom has issues and the coach is not the sole problem?

And these ex players now in the media kept saying what a top bloke Mary was and that he can coach, yet I bet if you asked them would you have him at your club they would run a mile. Whether Dean Young can coach or not, jury still out for me, but at least he was able to pick up a gig at another club straight away even if it's at the Cows. Mary just gets wheeled out on the Matty Johns show for a laugh every now and then.
 
Messages
8,480
Almost everything Gould said/wrote/advised is correct. He is a disingenuous bastard though. I could have written this review from my loungeroom. McGregor absolutely had to go and we are significantly better without him. I find it interesting that Gould has not moved to appoint McGregor at the Bulldogs?

And of course it is a long term fix. We all know that. Thanks Phil. How insightful. And of course we know that the problems are deeper then the coaching situation. Thanks Phil. How insightful.

Everywhere Phil Gould goes; every position he takes ends in acrimony and distaste. He is a loathsome character really.

And so where do we land after all of this? Nothing changes, nothing unless the BOD's resign on mass and are replaced with corporate executives who have a hard edged business acumen.; something Gordon, Doust and Young lack. As an aside the types we need are out there in corporate world and are willing to get involved, but it will never happen.

He went to the Roosters when they were awful. Look at them since

He went to the Panthers when they were awful and almost bankrupt. Look at them since

We were similarly awful, We had an opportunity, but no…..

He’s now gone to the Bulldogs who are awful..

I get that some people don’t like Gould for whatever reason. But the bloke is the absolute gold-standard at building sustainable success from ruins. And I’m sure that if we did sign him, many dragons fans would have been stoked. To me, it would have been the best signing since Bennett.
 

Forbes Creek Dragons

First Grade
Messages
5,074
He went to the Roosters when they were awful. Look at them since

He went to the Panthers when they were awful and almost bankrupt. Look at them since

We were similarly awful, We had an opportunity, but no…..

He’s now gone to the Bulldogs who are awful..

I get that some people don’t like Gould for whatever reason. But the bloke is the absolute gold-standard at building sustainable success from ruins. And I’m sure that if we did sign him, many dragons fans would have been stoked. To me, it would have been the best signing since Bennett.
I like him, I would have loved to sign him. He grew up a Dragons supporter. How fitting it would be to bri g success to the team he grew up supporting.
 
Messages
8,480
Just like we preferred to sign Tony Caine over Danny Buderus. ( So I've been told...)
Just like we offered Wayne Bennett only 3 years when he wanted 5.
Just like we pay overs to get average footballers showing that a) we have no faith in our juniors and b) that we can't attract top flight players at all or second-tier players without a sweetener.

We contested 4 grand finals in the 1990s, since then we have contested 1. Never mind the 31 year Premiership drought - it is 11 years since we contested a Grand Final - which is the longest break between Grand Finals for a St George ( or faux St George ) team since the 1930s. And I don't see that changing in 2022 with a team of disinterested journeymen, coached by a guy with the personality of a beige matchstick with the sulphur scratched off.

If we don’t make the grand final next year…..

It’ll be the longest period without a grand final appearance (since their inception) in the clubs history since 1921

The previous longest period was/is…. From 1999 to 2010..

Our premiership in 2010 was one that long before, I’d resigned myself to the likelihood I’d never see. And I’m thankful that I was there to see it with my own eyes. But aside from that, a few bright seasons under Brownie and 2018, it’s been an absolute mess.

Our club used to have a soul. It used to have grit. With the JV it has lost all of that. Only Bennett succeeded at rekindling it. I fear no-one else will for a long long time.
 

Inisai Toga

Juniors
Messages
982
Agree with your sentiments BBJF, but Bennett’s tenure demonstrated the JV strengths and were we should be. His leaving also highlighted its weekness as an organisation. I personally don’t buy into “he took players narrative” bullshit. Saints can turn this around i’m sure! There are some really good signs to build on that i think differ from past decade.
 
Messages
8,480
Agree with your sentiments BBJF, but Bennett’s tenure demonstrated the JV strengths and were we should be. His leaving also highlighted its weekness as an organisation. I personally don’t buy into “he took players narrative” bullshit. Saints can turn this around i’m sure! There are some really good signs to build on that i think differ from past decade.

It took a presence like Bennett to get the very best out of the club. Which he did. And I’m thankful.

I still have Lara Pitt’s words ringing in my ears with an observation she made on NRL360 last year (when I actually use to watch and like the show)… effectively…

“The Dragons have been in a JV for over 20 years but are still runs like 2 separate clubs”.

Only a presence like Gould or Bennett could turn us around IMO. We got Bennett and look what we achieved - like you say, it demonstrated what a JV could be. But since he left, it’s been a shambles. We should have snared Gould when we had a chance. He knows what success looks like. No one in the current organisation does (maybe apart from Peter Doust who got Bennett in the first place).

We may improve a bit next year, I’m hopeful. But if my life depended on it - I wouldn’t back us to make significant improvement and legitimately be contending for semi finals and another title within the next 5 years.. possibly longer.. unless we see significant change at management level - with people who know how to build success at a club - not just talk about it. Gould would have been prime for us.
 

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