playdaball

playdaball

Heritage Member
The BIGGEST stuff up since the Warriors kicked off in 1995.

NZ Herald 11/10/21


Early last week, Penrith chief executive Brian Fletcher said coach Ivan Cleary would have a job for life.

After their grand final win over South Sydney, Fletcher was unequivocal.

"I can't ever see Ivan Cleary leaving the place," said Fletcher.

"He's here for as long as he wants to be here."

In the wake of their epic premiership victory, their first since 2003, it could have been seen as an emotional reaction.

But it wasn't.

On an open market, the 50-year-old Cleary would be one of the most in demand NRL coaches, because of his ability to not just win games, but build a club.

With a few exceptions, his Panthers' squad are not a team of stars, especially compared with the Storm and Roosters.

All but three of their 17-man grand final team made their NRL debut at the Panthers and most have been playing together since teenagers.

With their formidable nursery, it's the Penrith way, but it's not easy and takes a unique skill set to first develop, then persevere with local products.

He was the coach that got away, but also the one that could have been brought back, in one of the biggest turning points of the last decade.​


It's a missed opportunity that will haunt the club, at least until they achieve enjoy some success again.

Cleary's stint at Mt Smart from 2006-2011 was a golden period, especially compared with the recent struggles. They reached the finals fours times, highlighted by the 2008 preliminary final and the 2011 grand final.

There were regular season finishes of fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth and 10 playoff games across six years, with a team based around a strong local core.

The Warriors have never been the same since Cleary left, and the reluctance to offer him a longer deal in 2011 has been well documented, even if it remains mystifying in hindsight.


But what is less understood – and often forgotten – is that the Warriors missed a chance to bring Cleary back in 2016, after Andrew McFadden had been sacked as head coach.

Cleary had been acclaimed as the 2014 Dally M coach of the year, after taking Penrith to the preliminary final, before being sacked by Phil Gould in 2015 (Fletcher admitted this week that decision was a mistake).

So he was back on the market.

"I want to coach again," Cleary told the Herald at the time. "I consider myself a career coach and this year has been my first season out of the NRL in the last 25 years [as a player or coach]."

Cleary also re-iterated his strong bond with the Auckland club.

"I loved my time at the Warriors," said Cleary. "It was the start of everything for me and I left with a heavy heart. There was some talk around at the time that I was leaving to go home but that wasn't the case at all. Moving to Penrith was completely the other side of Sydney for me."

It was a unique situation, as Cleary was available and wanted the job, sensing some unfinished business.

Across their history the club has chased big names like Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett, but those pursuits never progressed very far.

But in August 2016 the Warriors had Cleary at their fingertips, but chose to ignore his proven credentials, opting instead for Stephen Kearney.

Maybe they didn't want to go back, and it would have been a difficult initial sell, for a fanbase that were desperate for a fresh start.

But it's hard not to wonder where the Warriors would be now.

Cleary spent a decade at Mt Smart, including his time as a player and assistant coach and is a Mt Rushmore type figure, alongside Stacey Jones, Simon Mannering and Shaun Johnson, but it's a shame he didn't get a chance to extend his legacy.
 
gREVUS

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
The BIGGEST stuff up since the Warriors kicked off in 1995.

NZ Herald 11/10/21


Early last week, Penrith chief executive Brian Fletcher said coach Ivan Cleary would have a job for life.

After their grand final win over South Sydney, Fletcher was unequivocal.

"I can't ever see Ivan Cleary leaving the place," said Fletcher.

"He's here for as long as he wants to be here."

In the wake of their epic premiership victory, their first since 2003, it could have been seen as an emotional reaction.

But it wasn't.

On an open market, the 50-year-old Cleary would be one of the most in demand NRL coaches, because of his ability to not just win games, but build a club.

With a few exceptions, his Panthers' squad are not a team of stars, especially compared with the Storm and Roosters.

All but three of their 17-man grand final team made their NRL debut at the Panthers and most have been playing together since teenagers.

With their formidable nursery, it's the Penrith way, but it's not easy and takes a unique skill set to first develop, then persevere with local products.

He was the coach that got away, but also the one that could have been brought back, in one of the biggest turning points of the last decade.​


It's a missed opportunity that will haunt the club, at least until they achieve enjoy some success again.

Cleary's stint at Mt Smart from 2006-2011 was a golden period, especially compared with the recent struggles. They reached the finals fours times, highlighted by the 2008 preliminary final and the 2011 grand final.

There were regular season finishes of fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth and 10 playoff games across six years, with a team based around a strong local core.

The Warriors have never been the same since Cleary left, and the reluctance to offer him a longer deal in 2011 has been well documented, even if it remains mystifying in hindsight.


But what is less understood – and often forgotten – is that the Warriors missed a chance to bring Cleary back in 2016, after Andrew McFadden had been sacked as head coach.

Cleary had been acclaimed as the 2014 Dally M coach of the year, after taking Penrith to the preliminary final, before being sacked by Phil Gould in 2015 (Fletcher admitted this week that decision was a mistake).

So he was back on the market.

"I want to coach again," Cleary told the Herald at the time. "I consider myself a career coach and this year has been my first season out of the NRL in the last 25 years [as a player or coach]."

Cleary also re-iterated his strong bond with the Auckland club.

"I loved my time at the Warriors," said Cleary. "It was the start of everything for me and I left with a heavy heart. There was some talk around at the time that I was leaving to go home but that wasn't the case at all. Moving to Penrith was completely the other side of Sydney for me."

It was a unique situation, as Cleary was available and wanted the job, sensing some unfinished business.

Across their history the club has chased big names like Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett, but those pursuits never progressed very far.

But in August 2016 the Warriors had Cleary at their fingertips, but chose to ignore his proven credentials, opting instead for Stephen Kearney.

Maybe they didn't want to go back, and it would have been a difficult initial sell, for a fanbase that were desperate for a fresh start.

But it's hard not to wonder where the Warriors would be now.

Cleary spent a decade at Mt Smart, including his time as a player and assistant coach and is a Mt Rushmore type figure, alongside Stacey Jones, Simon Mannering and Shaun Johnson, but it's a shame he didn't get a chance to extend his legacy.
now i know your just trying to make me cry
 
snake77

snake77

I wonder if whoever wrote this had just watched the Shaun Johnson interview where he says he still thinks about how different things could’ve been if the club had stuck with Ivan.
You get that sometimes when you read these articles. Either a video or tweet posted on here or hey we had that discussion.🤔

It would be a good series for some threads over the off season like Marvel's What If series.

Expand your thoughts on what would of happened.
What if Cleary stayed?
What if the Warriors won the premiership in 2002?
What if the Warriors won the premiership in 2011?
What if the Warriors didn't get caught cheating the cap and docked 2 points in 2006?
What if the Warriors didn't get docked 2 points for a interchange violation in 1995?
 
DavidMcKay1974

DavidMcKay1974

You get that sometimes when you read these articles. Either a video or tweet posted on here or hey we had that discussion.🤔

It would be a good series for some threads over the off season like Marvel's What If series.

Expand your thoughts on what would of happened.
What if Cleary stayed?
What if the Warriors won the premiership in 2002?
What if the Warriors won the premiership in 2011?
What if the Warriors didn't get caught cheating the cap and docked 2 points in 2006?
What if the Warriors didn't get docked 2 points for a interchange violation in 1995?
What if Cleary stayed? - We would have won at least one premiership if not 2 or 3 after

What if the Warriors won the premiership in 2002? We would have won it again a few years later

What if the Warriors won the premiership in 2011? We would have won it again a few years later

What if the Warriors didn't get caught cheating the cap and docked 2 points in 2006? We would have made the finals and made a statement.


What if the Warriors didn't get docked 2 points for a interchange violation in 1995? We would have made the finals and made a statement saying the Warriors are here to play and not to be made fun of.
 
mrblonde

mrblonde

You get that sometimes when you read these articles. Either a video or tweet posted on here or hey we had that discussion.🤔

It would be a good series for some threads over the off season like Marvel's What If series.

Expand your thoughts on what would of happened.
What if Cleary stayed?
What if the Warriors won the premiership in 2002?
What if the Warriors won the premiership in 2011?
What if the Warriors didn't get caught cheating the cap and docked 2 points in 2006?
What if the Warriors didn't get docked 2 points for a interchange violation in 1995?
Gonna be that person..

We got docked 4 points in 2006. Sorry.

Anyway:
1995. We would have made the finals in 8th (overtaking the North Sydney Bears) and dropped out in the first weekend after being beaten by the Newcastle Knights.

If we'd won the premiership in 2002, we would probably never have had Cleary. Anderson would have been signed for life, Kemp would have probably taken over. Maybe Jones would have eventually taken the hot seat? But. We'd still have had Mick Watson as CEO, so some of the dumb things that happened in 2003-4 (rumours the players got too pleased with themselves and walked around like they'd made it..., the Ali Fuckup... etc) would still have happened...

Without the 4 point deduction in 2006, it's statistically finals time again, but I strongly believe the team played so well in 2006 because of that deduction. If the team play the season thinking "we can do this!", maybe they don't...

If the Warriors had won the premiership in 2011, Ivan would have our knives removed from his back until about, oooh, Rd 3 of 2012. And then we'd go back to hating the useless Aussie bum... :)
 
bruce

bruce

Contributor
The problem was not Cleary, it never was.

It was the club and the boneheaded owner, the jersey salesman, combined with some old school Kiwis such as McGahan and I think also Dean Bell who didn't like John Hart and his influence.

To be fair John Hart is not everybody's cup of tea, but to think that Bluey (especially anybody that actually knew the guy) would be a better coach than Ivan with John Hart helping is bordering on psychotic, seriously.

I don't follow the place too closely, but I fear the Broncos are going the same way with old players still living in their dreams running the show.
 
john nick

john nick

The problem was not Cleary, it never was.

It was the club and the boneheaded owner, the jersey salesman, combined with some old school Kiwis such as McGahan and I think also Dean Bell who didn't like John Hart and his influence.

To be fair John Hart is not everybody's cup of tea, but to think that Bluey (especially anybody that actually knew the guy) would be a better coach than Ivan with John Hart helping is bordering on psychotic, seriously.

I don't follow the place too closely, but I fear the Broncos are going the same way with old players still living in their dreams running the show.
Dont agree with you all the time Bruce but I knew John Hart reasonably well.Played rugby & cricket with him at MRGS.Havent been in touch for many years however he (IMO) bought some stability to the Warriors back room.Was a little strange but when he knew your abilities he would go into bat for you.He was actually a very good wicket keeper .His brother was a good hooker.At the same time iirc was another hooker who was to be an All Black Ron Urlich .My memorising is over for now .Until my next wettie :)
 
matiunz

matiunz

This year yet?
Contributor
What if Cleary stayed? - We would have won at least one premiership if not 2 or 3 after

What if the Warriors won the premiership in 2002? We would have won it again a few years later

What if the Warriors won the premiership in 2011? We would have won it again a few years later

What if the Warriors didn't get caught cheating the cap and docked 2 points in 2006? We would have made the finals and made a statement.


What if the Warriors didn't get docked 2 points for a interchange violation in 1995? We would have made the finals and made a statement saying the Warriors are here to play and not to be made fun of.
Disagree with most of that

Cleary was on the outer before he had that miracle run into the gf, the consensus was he could get you consistent but that next level, this would follow him and get him moved on from Panthers the first time and Tigers where he had the same problem. 2011 we had a bit of luck and form, we weren’t an amazing squad. It still took Cleary another decade with better squads to get there.

2002 really was our best chance we had unlocked the formula on how to play, inexperience and the Fitler incident cost us., 2003 was our next best shot but got a bit cocky after demolishing the Bulldogs and got ambushed by Penrith.

2006 i don’t think was anything to write home historically.

95 was a travesty, we should have made the finals and some much needed confidence and belief.

Cant focus on what if’s it doesn’t do any good, what happened has happened and circumstances don’t always line up
 
bruce

bruce

Contributor
Dont agree with you all the time Bruce but I knew John Hart reasonably well.Played rugby & cricket with him at MRGS.Havent been in touch for many years however he (IMO) bought some stability to the Warriors back room.Was a little strange but when he knew your abilities he would go into bat for you.He was actually a very good wicket keeper .His brother was a good hooker.At the same time iirc was another hooker who was to be an All Black Ron Urlich .My memorising is over for now .Until my next wettie :)
I wasn't criticising his ability at all, just the opposite. However he clearly did not get on with the old boys club, that is all I was saying. I guess he didn't think he had to, actually neither should he have, but that is what I think happened.
 
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john nick

john nick

I wasn't criticising his ability at all, just the opposite. However he clearly did not get on with the old boys club, that is all I was saying. I guess he didn't think he had to, actually neither should he have, but that is what I think happened.
Sorry mate. Wasn't being critical. Probably explained it wrong. I sent him an email at the time hoping he would stay on. Would have been a much better backup than Graham Henry IMO
 
bruce

bruce

Contributor
Sorry mate. Wasn't being critical. Probably explained it wrong. I sent him an email at the time hoping he would stay on. Would have been a much better backup than Graham Henry IMO
I have mates who played under Hart. They saw it the same was as me. The thing was it was a successful partnership, the jersey salesman is just a dick.
 
Blain

Blain

The comments are a reflection of the time. Ivan built up the squad nicely, and even though we were making the 8, we were scraping in each season with bigger expectations. He played pretty boring footy, kick to Manu being the X factor play for example. Centres were back rowers.

The problem was Bluey came in and sent us on a spiral down, and we then doubled down with Elliott coming in. We lost a bunch of players who were the core of the side Ivan had built, and now here we are.
 

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