Andrew Webster 2023 crop.png

Staff Andrew Webster

Coach Grade
  1. NRL Head Coach
Date of Birth
Jan 17, 1982
Birth Location
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality
  1. 🇦🇺 Australia
Nickname
Webby
Warriors Debut Date
Mar 3, 2023
Warriors Debut Details
March 3 2023, Round 1 vs Newcastle Knights at SKY Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand
Warriors Years Active
  1. 2015
  2. 2016
  3. 2023
  4. 2024
Signed From
Penrith Panthers (Assistant Coach)
Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Webster_(rugby_league)
Rugby League Project
https://www.rugbyleagueproject.org/coaches/andrew-webster/summary.html
Georges role is to put a team together that wins.

He has done that, and stupid people don't know how to pick the right staff.

When he signed off on Webster and Cappy we were looking a lot smarter about our operation all round. The Warriors HQ have have been brilliant, they even hired the right ground events people and signed off on the black out and flames, the bosses let the crowd have the team song.

The Warriors finally have a proffesionally run operation and it shows on game day.
 
I have this nightmare that Webby puts his young family first and moves back to Sydney in a couple of years… hopefully he’s won us a premiership or two by then. I really want this bloke to have a Bellyache type head coaching career here.
 
I have this nightmare that Webby puts his young family first and moves back to Sydney in a couple of years… hopefully he’s won us a premiership or two by then. I really want this bloke to have a Bellyache type head coaching career here.
He hasn’t given that indication at all though? Don’t reckon he would have signed the extension he did if he had those intentions.
 
He hasn’t given that indication at all though? Don’t reckon he would have signed the extension he did if he had those intentions.
Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I am certain he will stick out his extension. He is too much of a top bloke, plus the way he talks about New Zealand is a dead give away. I more so just hope he extends again, rather than moving back to take up another gig to be closer to his and his wife’s roots in Sydney.

Think it’s more a manifestation of my current situation with a young family and a home sick Aussie wife here in NZ and making the decision to move across the ditch this year to be closer to her side. Guess I can now sympathise when players/coaches have that predicament in their careers to change clubs to be closer to home/family.
 
Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I am certain he will stick out his extension. He is too much of a top bloke, plus the way he talks about New Zealand is a dead give away. I more so just hope he extends again, rather than moving back to take up another gig to be closer to his and his wife’s roots in Sydney.

Think it’s more a manifestation of my current situation with a young family and a home sick Aussie wife here in NZ and making the decision to move across the ditch this year to be closer to her side. Guess I can now sympathise when players/coaches have that predicament in their careers to change clubs to be closer to home/family.
Hang in there mate.
 
This fits with some of his comments last year about everyone taking more responsibility or taking ownership of their performances.

He spoke last year of guys doing their own video reviews or analysis.
If all players have to speak up, it will do wonders for the young shy guys! Communication on the field has been a warriors problem for years. If they feel more comfortable speaking up, they should have more of a voice on the field as well.
 
From the herald today:
After the 2023 Warriors revolution captured the nation, what comes next? Coach Andrew Webster explains to Michael Burgess how the club aim to improve and deal with new expectations after that stunning season.

If you ask Andrew Webster about his favourite time of the year, the answer comes quite quickly.

Pre-season.

It’s often a period that players dread, as they are pushed to their physical and mental limits to prepare for the upcoming campaign. It can also drag on for fans, impatient to see their favourite teams again. But it’s Nirvana for coaches, their largest block of time to find individual and collective improvement.

Once the season gets underway, there are usually only two training sessions a week and far too much to do. Now is the time.

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“You can’t have a good year with a bad pre-season, it’s just impossible,” Webster tells the Herald. “It’s where your biggest gains are made – by far.

“It’s the way you want to shape them physically, how you mentally get them ready and then tactically. And it gives the team confidence. That was the biggest thing last year. They did so many reps and worked so hard that they believed in themselves so much.”

That 2023 pre-season will go down in club legend, as a rookie coach and a significantly overhauled squad sowed the seeds for a remarkable campaign, one of the biggest turnarounds in Warriors history. Seventeen wins, unforgettable comebacks, brilliant tries, head-turning defence, a top-four finish and a return to the playoffs, not to mention the fanatical nationwide support.

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So what’s next? How do you build on one of the most memorable seasons in club history, where words like ‘Townsville’, ‘Cronulla’ and ‘Canberra’ conjure such indelible memories? The Warriors plan a brick-by-brick approach.

“Our biggest goal is to be way better at what we are already really good at – to become great at it,” says Webster. “And then when we are, we will add things to our game.”

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It’s evolution, rather than revolution. Even though the team are starting from a higher level, Webster assures nothing will be taken for granted. Their success last year was built on four key principles, identified as things that “statistically will always win you games”.

Warriors coach Andrew Webster. Photo / Photosport
Warriors coach Andrew Webster. Photo / Photosport
Webster declines to be more specific – “tactically I’m not going to spill the beans” – but reveals they are established facts, rather than Moneyball-style innovations.

“It’s not like a guess – it’s guaranteed,” says Webster.

Every training drill is geared towards improving those foundations before they consider adding “the glossy stuff”. The basic template reached a high level last year but needs to go further.

“Our game has to be able to stand up under pressure,” says Webster. “It does stand up against most things but it didn’t get us to where we want to get to.”

The Herald met Webster in his office at the club’s Penrose headquarters, during a day off for the players. It’s already been a long summer. The first squad members reported for pre-season on November 15, with the vast majority back by mid-December. After a Christmas break, sessions started again on January 8.

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Compared to last year, circumstances couldn’t be more different, as uncertainty is replaced by expectation and the Warriors are the hunted, rather than the pack.

“I can’t worry about what other people are thinking and what the rest of the competition might do,” says Webster. “It’s guaranteed every year that teams are going to improve and the NRL is going to get better. So we have to keep ahead of that.

“But that’s why I love pre-season. It’s not a guess. We know what we need to do. Last year the goal was to win every game we could and then try to win the grand final. People laughed at us for even thinking that. The goal hasn’t changed, it’s just people’s expectations have changed, not ours.”

Andrew Webster and playmaker Shaun Johnson. Photo / Getty Images
Andrew Webster and playmaker Shaun Johnson. Photo / Getty Images
But there are undoubted challenges. After a season of success, Webster’s playbook has been studied extensively by opposition clubs and counter-measures will be ready, both offensively and defensively. The Warriors won’t be able to play the underdog card, nor catch teams on the hop while a clutch of key players – Shaun Johnson, Addin Fonua-Blake, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Tohu Harris and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak – must reprise career-best campaigns, with Johnson also affected by an untimely pre-season injury.

“Our biggest challenge for 2024 is ourselves,” says Webster. “Are we going to buy in over the course of the season like we did last year? Are we willing to get better all the time? Are we complacent – or are we proactive about our own performances? The whole competition is going to improve and are we willing to do it? And is the expectation going to bother us?”

The latter point is most striking, as there haven’t been too many seasons in club history where the Warriors have faced so much expectation, but Webster isn’t bothered.

“It’s great,” says Webster. “It means people will be here watching us and it means we have done something right.”

In assessing possible pressures, the coach takes heart from last season’s response. The Warriors enjoyed record attendances – numbers not seen since the inaugural year in 1995 – while the team’s following reached almost unprecedented levels, on a wave of emotion and joy.

“That was the best part about last year,” says Webster. “There was a movement across the country, ‘Up the Wahs’, and we were the most googled sporting team in New Zealand. [But] we reviewed each week the same, win, lose or draw.

“If everyone was telling us how good we were, I didn’t see any moment where we got ahead of ourselves. The games we lost we tried hard, physically we were there. I never saw once them not try and we had that whole movement – it was overnight change.

“Right now it’s exciting because we are not where we want to be but it is a pretty good place to start. I haven’t seen complacency; I’ve seen excitement. I’ve seen people working really hard, motivated to get better and better, and we are in a way better position than last year.”

Michael Burgess has been a sports journalist since 2005, winning several national awards and covering Olympics, Fifa World Cups and America’s Cup campaigns. He has also reported on the Warriors and NRL for more than a decade.
 
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