Staff Eric Watson

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ToiletDuck

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Eric Watson: New coach Elliott is no lame duck

- By Eric Watson

I've copped a bit of flak since I've been back, usually along the lines of, "Any more big bold predictions, Eric?"
It seems some people found our media conference last July, where we outlined an ambitious new vision for the Vodafone NZ Warriors, quite controversial. Especially when we went on to drop eight straight games in a row.

Put your head above water in this country and it's inevitable someone will be looking to push it back down in the hope you'll drown in a sea of humiliation.

In some ways that's not such a bad thing because it does keep one focused, not only on the consequences of winning but also of losing.

I stand by what was said last year. A line has been drawn in the sand and the national dream of the Warriors winning the NRL premiership is something we are utterly committed to making a reality. Owning the Vodafone Warriors isn't business in the purest sense for me. The compelling reason is quite simply the desire to win the NRL premiership someday - it can't come too soon - and bring it to New Zealand, to take it away from the Australians.

Nothing would please me more.

The NRL is one of the world's toughest and most exciting competitions; it is comfortably the most exciting and even sporting competition throughout Australasia.

The Warriors are the biggest sporting franchise in this country and are a critical part of the competition, but that must never be enough.

The announcements last year were important in terms of a strategic mentality. We needed to show we'd mapped out where we saw ourselves heading - and it wasn't about maintaining what had become the norm.

A case can be made supporting the view the Warriors haven't done too badly, in fact a lot better than most clubs in the NRL. We've been to the grand final twice in the last 10 years - only Melbourne, Manly and the Roosters can better that - and we've reached the finals more than most, too.

It's still not good enough, though. Not acceptable for the owners, the board, management, the football department, staff, the players or all our loyal members and supporters.

What happened at the tail of last year is even less acceptable.

So with the season not far away, how are we placed? We're in very good hands with new coach Matt Elliott.
I'm told there's a belief Matt landed the job by default. That's an insult to all concerned, principally Matt. Yes, we did go close to agreeing a contract with one other person before he was hired. It was one of the league's so-called super coaches with a proven track record of success in the NRL. He would have put bums on seats and presumably have made us competitive instantly.

But he dithered. It allowed us to go with the man I felt had interviewed the best and had the best background and vision for the Warriors. He had impressed on every level imaginable, especially his whole-of-club vision. The other crowd-pleasing option may have given us a quick fix, but I was actually relieved it worked out the way it did. Above all Matt provides an asset the club hasn't had since start-up coach John Monie in 1995 - a coach with NRL experience.

Matt (who by the way has a diploma in education and a degree in sports science) has been even more impressive than I expected and has brought world class coaching colleagues with him, including Carl Jennings (ex-Crusaders, Bradford, Canberra) Andrew McFadden (ex-Canberra) and Brad Morris (ex-UFC fighter and high performance expert).

The talk finishes in a couple of weeks. There are some tough games early in the season, like our second-round match at Eden Park against the Roosters.

With Sir Owen Glenn's joint ownership involvement as well, we have a franchise that's walking the talk about putting the best resources in place, having spent more than $1.5m on upgrading our gym to the best NRL standards.

As inspirational US motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude. The Warriors are a club with that in spades.

Eric Watson will write occasionally for the Herald on Sunday.

Link at nzherald.co.nz

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At least he admits Matt Elliot wasn't our number 1 coaching target all along. I'd be interested in seeing him do regular columns actually, especially if the season starts to turn to shit. We hear a lot from Owen Glenn but not as much from Eric Watson. Better than listening to Scurrah regurgitate his usual palaver.
 
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fanrrior

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Put your head above water in this country and it's inevitable someone will be looking to push it back down in the hope you'll drown in a sea of humiliation.
I like this quote...

It allowed us to go with the man I felt had interviewed the best and had the best background and vision for the Warriors.
Considering how Elliot conveys his ideals I don't think Watson is lying when he says this.
 
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Akkerz

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Interesting that this early in the season Mr Watson feels the need to rise up & defend Matt Elliot and their decision to employ him. I'm positive that the Warrior fans who have financially and emotionally championed the Warrior cause since inception are also looking toward a G F premiership win. We are not your enemy Mr Watson so don't attempt to dumb us down - that is embarrassing to you and your management team.
 
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mt.wellington

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Interesting that this early in the season Mr Watson feels the need to rise up & defend Matt Elliot and their decision to employ him. I'm positive that the Warrior fans who have financially and emotionally championed the Warrior cause since inception are also looking toward a G F premiership win. We are not your enemy Mr Watson so don't attempt to dumb us down - that is embarrassing to you and your management team.
How did you get that impression?
 
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Sup42

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Bit of Tycoon talk in that Interview. While i agree it is good to hear Watson admit Elliot wasn't their first choice , to say that Bellamy dithered allowing them to chose plan B would be the kind of dumbing down akerz was talking about maybe ?......if not......why not just use Bellamy's name in the interview.

Another example is to say you don't regret declaring the stuff they did last year before they turned to puss.

I guess Eric is in a difficult position with the way things played out.

Not sure whether it's a good thing or not having Eric talking Warriors. Fans of other sports are over the grandstanding by people like Gareth Morgan when the bottom line is they can't pick Scurrah as a bogey right under their own noses.
 
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Akkerz

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How did you get that impression?
I'm not a league expert by any means. Things have changed a lot since my young days but I do know the game.
I would expect that manangement made a choice they felt they could live with in selecting Matt Elliot as head coach.
Re-assurance of Matts abilities, credentials and the fact there has been a hefty investment in gym equipment doesn't mean a damn thing if Warriors don't perform on the field.
In reading Watson's article I felt that we fans/ critics were being reprimanded like kids for not being more appreciative - and this even before round one.
I have no time for motivational speakers - words are easy. As always I'll be making my judgement on what happens on the field over the season.
 
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Moz

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I'm not a league expert by any means. Things have changed a lot since my young days but I do know the game.
I would expect that manangement made a choice they felt they could live with in selecting Matt Elliot as head coach.
Re-assurance of Matts abilities, credentials and the fact there has been a hefty investment in gym equipment doesn't mean a damn thing if Warriors don't perform on the field.
In reading Watson's article I felt that we fans/ critics were being reprimanded like kids for not being more appreciative - and this even before round one.
I have no time for motivational speakers - words are easy. As always I'll be making my judgement on what happens on the field over the season.
Dunno but could be those comments were directed at NZ sport fans in general as well as some sections of the sporting media rather than at Warriors fans
 
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mt.wellington

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Dunno but could be those comments were directed at NZ sport fans in general as well as some sections of the sporting media rather than at Warriors fans
Thats more the impression I got. Depends on the way you look at it I suppose. I didnt get anything from it in terms of feeling dumbed down or patronised but if you go back and read it through a half empty glass then it can certainly seems that way. I dont know. It seemed well intentioned to me. Just my opinion though...
 
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Sup42

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I guess there is a lot a disgruntlement in Warrior land.

I like a critical analysis as much as the positive stuff, somewhere in the middle lies reality ?
 
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Akkerz

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Well there was certainly plenty of critical analysis - positive & negative - during & after the game on Saturday but unlike Messrs Watson, Scurrah & co most of the patrons were not discussing their racing investments !!
People are wonderful, different viewpoints, different expectations, different interpretations and its all good.

Now about that premiership
 
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Xt1ncT

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Interesting that this early in the season Mr Watson feels the need to rise up & defend Matt Elliot and their decision to employ him. I'm positive that the Warrior fans who have financially and emotionally championed the Warrior cause since inception are also looking toward a G F premiership win. We are not your enemy Mr Watson so don't attempt to dumb us down - that is embarrassing to you and your management team.
From reading that I got the impression Eric wanted Elliott but the 'Super Coach' was top of the list for some reason. And that he's actually glad they got Elliott.
 
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From reading that I got the impression Eric wanted Elliott but the 'Super Coach' was top of the list for some reason. And that he's actually glad they got Elliott.
yeah its weird logic. A super coach was available so they waited .. but they really wanted Elliot (presumably not considered a super coach) and in the end theyre glad they got Elliot and not a super coach... well done Eric
 
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Xt1ncT

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yeah its weird logic. A super coach was available so they waited .. but they really wanted Elliot (presumably not considered a super coach) and in the end theyre glad they got Elliot and not a super coach... well done Eric
No that's not right. Read the article again.

A super coach was interviewed, wasn't necessarily available. Matt interviewed the best, came prepared with a whole
Of club plan and philosophy.

The super coach dithered and didn't commit which gave them time to go through what they needed not what they wanted as the two things are disparate concepts.

In the end they got the man they thought interviewed the best and who prepared the best, and who showed w wanted the job the most.

To me that's what Eric was saying and I for one appreciate that getting a coach who wanted the job is better than getting someone who would have been coming mainly for the money.
 
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No that's not right. Read the article again.

A super coach was interviewed, wasn't necessarily available. Matt interviewed the best, came prepared with a whole
Of club plan and philosophy.

The super coach dithered and didn't commit which gave them time to go through what they needed not what they wanted as the two things are disparate concepts.

In the end they got the man they thought interviewed the best and who prepared the best, and who showed w wanted the job the most.

To me that's what Eric was saying and I for one appreciate that getting a coach who wanted the job is better than getting someone who would have been coming mainly for the money.
I have to wonder where this club plan from Elliot came from. Its probably the plan that was presented to the Panthers.

The warriors can only point the finger at themselves giving a supercoach about a month to make up his mind. If they hadnt fired Bluey straight away at the end of the season they wouldnt have put themselves in such a desperate situation. They really did settle for Elliot no matter how they try to justify it.
 
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mt.wellington

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This is the part of the article that people seem to be misreading:

I'm told there's a belief Matt landed the job by default. That's an insult to all concerned, principally Matt. Yes, we did go close to agreeing a contract with one other person before he was hired. It was one of the league's so-called super coaches with a proven track record of success in the NRL. He would have put bums on seats and presumably have made us competitive instantly.

But he dithered. It allowed us to go with the man I felt had interviewed the best and had the best background and vision for the Warriors. He had impressed on every level imaginable, especially his whole-of-club vision. The other crowd-pleasing option may have given us a quick fix, but I was actually relieved it worked out the way it did.

IMO he's saying that yes, they wanted and went after Bellyache.

He was noncommittal, indecisive. So they went with Elliot. He's pleased with the end result.

Or am I the one thats reading it wrong???
 
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wallacenz

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This is the part of the article that people seem to be misreading:

I'm told there's a belief Matt landed the job by default. That's an insult to all concerned, principally Matt. Yes, we did go close to agreeing a contract with one other person before he was hired. It was one of the league's so-called super coaches with a proven track record of success in the NRL. He would have put bums on seats and presumably have made us competitive instantly.

But he dithered. It allowed us to go with the man I felt had interviewed the best and had the best background and vision for the Warriors. He had impressed on every level imaginable, especially his whole-of-club vision. The other crowd-pleasing option may have given us a quick fix, but I was actually relieved it worked out the way it did.

IMO he's saying that yes, they wanted and went after Bellyache.

He was noncommittal, indecisive. So they went with Elliot. He's pleased with the end result.

Or am I the one thats reading it wrong???
no youre reading it right.

But the way I read this, and I may be reading into it too much, is that they didnt give the "supercoach" enough time to make a decision and so they settled for the next best guy. I also read into this that Elliot is a permanent coach, not an interum coach, they have their man.

To me this is just spin by Watson. Our management shafted themselves at the end of last season firing Bluey too late and having no plan when they did. They took the best guy they could get on short notice and now they say that the "supercoach" was taking too long.. thats the warriors fault
 
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Sup42

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On the Super Coach thing, Scurrah did them no favors by trumpeting their deadline in the media , I might be over thinking it, but at the time it smelt like they thought that the offer in of itself was so good that the Super Coach was going to signed in a timely fashion , the more time he asked for the more hollow the Warriors pitch to the public became / less palatable to themselves.

Elliot wasn't going anywhere , he had no other hot offers or even speculated interest......of the list of possibles he sounded like a dreadful option.

I wonder whether the door was open for the Warriors to appoint an interim while going about the catching of a bigger fish on the quiet. No public deadlines.
 
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mt.wellington

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I think it was more a matter of getting the head coach in place so he could start planning the preseason. In all fairness to Scurrah and co. they did give 'supercoach' extra time. He was never going to leave. From what Ive read the Dragons gave in to his every single demand but he dicked them around too. Just playing the market IMO. Maybe thats what Watson was referring to when he said he was relieved the way it worked out. We have Elliot instead of us just finding out last week like the Dragons that he would re-sign with the Storm and we would be stuck with someone like Iro...
 
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Akkerz

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I've read & re-read this article several times and concede that it may not have been directed at Warriors supporters. But hells teeth it's contradictory. On the one hand they were close to signing with a 'super coach' which I understood had been the intention from the get go. Then Eric goes on about how well M E had impressed and at the end of the day the dithery supercoach pissed about too long enabling the owners the opportunity to sign up Matt which is what they wanted to do all along . Big relief all round apparently.

Why is he relieved that they lost the bums on seats, quick-fix supercoach? Isn't that what we had all prayed for?

Perhaps management felt threatened by having someone as strong and as knowledgeable as Mr Supercoach in their club. Perhaps they felt ME would be a more suitable fit - less demanding, and perhaps said Mr Supercoach had nightmares about working with this lot and dithered intentionally :D Good Luck Matt Elliot.
 
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Defence

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Wonder how much of elliotts vision he presented for the club was about developing juniors. Canberra and penrith have one big thing in common with us- they both find it hard to attract players coz no one wants to live there- so it's either pay massive overs or rely on local juniors so he has a fair bit of experience in that regard and I'm sure he would've run off a mean yarn on the subject.
 
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