Staff John Ackland

Cces

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 12, 2013
626
Christchurch
I guess the benchmark for any age group Coach is how many players succeeded the next levels up.
Slow day for me at the office.
37 out of the 93 players he coached in his 4 years of NYC made it to the NRL. 11 played over 100 games (3 of these 150+). 7 played less than 10 games. 9 are still playing in the competition & the average number of games of NRL his graduates have played is 66 matches.
 
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bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
20,878
He didn't care about development imo, he cared about identifying the talent then winning an NYC title even if it was at the expense of development.
That is what Bennett thought as well.
 

Viking

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 12, 2012
2,097
Slow day for me at the office.
37 out of the 93 players he coached in his 4 years of NYC made it to the NRL. 11 played over 100 games (3 of these 150+). 7 played less than 10 games. 9 are still playing in the competition & the average number of games of NRL his graduates have played is 66 matches.
A good comparison would be to Tony Iro's sole year as NYC coach in 2008. From the players in that first squad, I think 60 or 70% went on to play NRL. Tony didn't win a title but the quality of NYC players across all teams that year was insane. It was the only year where all the clubs played their best juniors and crowds turned up to watch the games. The quality diminished a little each year after that IMO. All of those 2008 boys had been playing against men the year before so they came in battle hardened already. After that you had kids that had been superstars at u16s to U18s, looked good in U20s which was still a very junior style of play, then skipping reserves and getting thrown straight into 1st grade. Some like Shaun Johnson went on to shine but lot ended up burning out too when proper development might've led to longer careers for them.

The knock on Ackland was his approach to making footballers out of athletes and the fact that his squads were on average a year or two older than most of the other NYC teams because those clubs sent their better players to the reserves for development. I guess that if he had aspirations of moving up to eventually get a coaching gig in the NRL, in his mind the best way to do that was to win in the grade he was coaching in but it appears that the club saw more value in what Tony did with the juniors. Opinions vary on him across Auckland league and a lot of that is just hate for the Lions money club poaching players but I've always thought highly of him purely for his love of the game.
 

Cces

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 12, 2013
626
Christchurch
A good comparison would be to Tony Iro's sole year as NYC coach in 2008. From the players in that first squad, I think 60 or 70% went on to play NRL.
Iro coached in both 2008 & 2009 and won at 56% (Ackland was 69%). Iro had 56 players under his watch during his tenure & 24 went onto play in the NRL at an average of 71 games (+5 than Ackland's graduates). Comparing the NYC-NRL rates Iro was 43% conversion & Ackland 40%.
 
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Viking

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 12, 2012
2,097
Iro coached in both 2008 & 2009 and won at 56% (Ackland was 69%). Iro had 56 players under his watch during his tenure & 24 went onto play in the NRL at an average of 71 games (+5 than Ackland's graduates). Comparing the NYC-NRL rates Iro was 43% conversion & Ackland 40%.
Thanks, I only remember him as the coach in 08. Sonny Fai died at the beginning of 09 so that year felt like a bit of a write-off for the whole club. I honestly can't remember anything else about that year. There was a vast difference in quality from the NYC games I watched in 08 to the later years, not that I watched too much of it.

I don't know that Iro was a better coach than Ackland or if he just inherited a better class of player from the Bartercard cup. I was told that Cleary was adamant that the juniors and reserves played in a particular way (no flair so less errors etc) so those coaches that didn't conform to his style, didn't rise through the ranks like Iro did. Cleary could probably see that some of our juniors were lacking some fundamentals so fair enough.
 

playdaball

Heritage Member
Apr 23, 2012
2,615
John Ackland deserved better than what he got from the warriors. Wayne Scurrah has not been on his birthday card list since he departed.
It’ll be interesting to see how Papakura go in 2022.
 

Viking

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 12, 2012
2,097
John Ackland deserved better than what he got from the warriors. Wayne Scurrah has not been on his birthday card list since he departed.
It’ll be interesting to see how Papakura go in 2022.
Its been sad watching Papakura's recent decline considering it's only been 5 years since they won the Fox. Do they get relegated next season too? Hopefully Ackland can turn them around.
 
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playdaball

Heritage Member
Apr 23, 2012
2,615
Papakura are still in the Fox. With John there, they’ll turn it around and they have some new players on the way too.
 
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