General Watson points to a return to grass roots

Wiki_old

Guest
Watson points to a return to grass roots
01 March 2006
By ROBERT LOWE

Majority owner Eric Watson wants the New Zealand Warriors to move towards developing more local rugby league talent rather than buying in experience.

The National Rugby League (NRL) has hit the Warriors with a $A430,000 ($NZ486,535) fine and stripped them of four competition points because of salary cap irregularities in 2004 and 2005.

The Warriors have five days to respond to a breach notice issued yesterday and are assessing their options.

Watson said developing young talent was one of the attractions when his Cullen Sports Ltd, which owns 75 of the Warriors, took control of the club in 2000.

"When we bought the team, one of the things we were excited about was the development opportunities to bring New Zealand sportsman through to the top level of rugby league," he said yesterday.

"Somewhere along the line, we got a little off track. We've had to go outside our market. We've had to find players that are more senior and players that can enable us to compete."

However, the Warriors' recent fortunes suggested that the strategy hadn't worked, Watson said.

"I think for us, it's back to grass roots," he told journalists in a telephone conference call from Colorado.

"It's back to developing the young guys, the talented athletes that come from within New Zealand and want to play rugby league."

After making the playoffs each year from 2001 to 2003, the Warriors have failed to reach the post-season in their past two campaigns.

Their two biggest purchases over the period, props Steve Price and Ruben Wiki, were among their best performers last year in the pair's first season with the club.

But other players have come and gone without making a lasting impression.

The development route can already be seen in the present squad, with new coach Ivan Cleary giving local players a chance to put their hands up.

Meanwhile, Watson said Cullen Sports was committed to the Warriors for the long term, despite a loss of "around a million dollars" last year and a projected "multi-million dollar loss" this year.

He said the motivation for investing in the club had not been personal profit, as any money made would be re-injected into the sport.

The aim had been to "enjoy" turning around a poorly run organisation and giving something back to the community, and he and business partner Mark Hotchin were prepared to ride out the tough times.

Watson also said he accepted the fine imposed by the NRL, but attacked the docking of points.

"It just doesn't seem right," he said.

"The trans-Tasman rivalry going back more than 100 years is based on an even playing field. This puts us in a very difficult position in terms of guys competing with a hill of points to climb to get started."

The Warriors' first match is at home to Melbourne on March 12.

Chairman Maurice Kidd said the club would get back under the $A3.36 million cap, a prerequisite for competing in the NRL.

The amount that had to be reduced was "do-able", he told Sydney radio station 2KY.

Club management held meetings with players yesterday and assured them "legally binding contracts would be honoured", but payments might have to be deferred to reduce expenditure.

Kidd said the Warriors were considering an appeal against the deduction of points.

"We will be taking to the field in compliance with the cap in 2006 so why should we lose points for it?

"We have already been caught and fined for last year. I think it is too harsh."

https://stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3589033a1823,00.html
 

AmeriKiwi_old

Guest
translation - we can`t afford any more highly paid players!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I`m all for developing more local talent... the New England Patriots won 3 SuperBowls using "rookie nobodies"!! It`s all in the scouting and the coaching.
 

JonB_old

Guest
AmeriKiwi said:
translation - we can`t afford any more highly paid players!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I`m all for developing more local talent... the New England Patriots won 3 SuperBowls using "rookie nobodies"!! It`s all in the scouting and the coaching.

They had a team first mentality aswell, and they believed and probaly still belevie in there managament and admistartion.

Nearly every player in there lineup is effective at some sort of role on the feild, there average players make big plays. They hardly have any stars at all on there roster but lots of great players. Ok maybe Tom Brady is great.
People play for less to play at the patriots, even though its not as great a place to live from money or life style (I supose that is subjective)
But we can aspire to many of the qualitys of the patriots qualitys.
 

ozbash_old

Guest
maybe, just maybe, uncle eric has twigged onto the fact that nz has the largest talent pool of young players in the rugby league world.

maybe uncle eric is going to channel a few of his $$ into developing and ultimately letting these talented youngsters run out onto ericsson in a warriors jersey.


who knows what might happen, we could have a home grown fullback playing for the kiwis instead of an australian.
 

AmeriKiwi_old

Guest
There are plenty of talented young players out there just waiting for a chance to prove themselves, and I`m all for it. Would be nice to see some local boys playing for the Warriors, as old kiwi says.
 

AmeriKiwi_old

Guest
WOW, Jon, nice to hear from someone who knows the Patriots so well!! You do know what you`re talking about... "team first" is a concept their head coach, Bill Belichek, has instilled in the entire team from the start of his head coaching career with the Patriots. They were the 1st team in SuperBowl history to enter the field all together as one team, rather than do the traditional individual entrance/name announcement onto the field.
They use every player to their best advantage, mixing things up, which confuses opposing teams in every game. Tom Brady (yes, now officially GREAT) was a 22 year old rookie stepping in for a senior team captain (Bledsoe), who was the highest paid quarterback in the N.F.L. at the time and extremely over rated. The substitution from seasoned veteran to young rookie was the best thing that ever happened to the Patriots, as I`m sure you know.
There`s no reason the same strategy can`t work for the Warriors.
 

PHANTOM MENACE_old

Guest
Heres some more on the story

Angry Warriors owner rings Gallop
By Steve Mascord
March 1, 2006

ANGRY New Zealand Warriors owner Eric Watson last night called NRL chief executive David Gallop from Colorado to personally complain about the club being docked four competition points.

Watson earlier predicted that punishment plus a $430,000 fine for salary cap abuse would give the Auckland outfit a "multi-million dollar loss" this year.

"I did receive a call from Eric today to discuss a few things," Gallop confirmed last night. "But I think the contents of the conversation should remain private."

Earlier, Watson said docking his club points "doesn't seem right" because it robbed the team of a "level playing field".

During a teleconference with reporters, he announced twice-yearly audits of his football operation to ensure there is no more cheating.

While revealing he had expert advice the NRL salary cap was illegal under New Zealand law and saying legal action was still an option, he said he did not favour going to the courts.

"I think we need to be more vigilant," Watson said.

"We will look to have independent reviews of the Warriors salary cap - properly - on a six-monthly basis.

"It's something I think would be a great safeguard for any NRL club. There's a history of breaches in this organisation and this sport and we're very likely to go to bringing on board independent auditors."


Advertisement:
Watson said his club lost $1 million last year and would register a much heavier deficit in 2006 because of the NRL's tough stance on Monday.
"It's been put to me today ... that under New Zealand law the salary cap would not be enforceable.

"It is potentially a restraint of trade and stops people earning what they are worth in an open market place.

"That's not necessarily my view but some expert advice has been given to me without me soliciting it.

"But my experience of legal action is that it takes forever and costs you a fortune."

In a rare interview, one of New Zealand's richest men also:


ADMITTED the club had "got a little bit off-track" its primary aim of developing young Kiwi talent and would now go "back to the grass roots".

CONFIRMED players had already been spoken to about deferring payments to get the Warriors under the cap for this year.

VOWED to invest in the Warriors "more millions of dollars to make this thing work".

PLEDGED that his company Cullen Sports "will not be moving into any other sporting ventures. It's going to focus on building the Warriors into a world-class business that competes at the highest level."
Asked when he became aware of the 2004-2005 breaches, Watson said: "The same time the board became aware of it."

The Daily Telegraph
 

da mad maori

Guest
Eric,sadly enough isnt' up to speed with what level the young players are at. Certainly we, on occassion are going to come across a talent that can step right into the fold. Badly sadly enough, those who aint up to the mark, slip away.
So,
I would rather see Eric put his money into a reserve grade. It may take a season or two for this to bear fruit, but if he wants the Warriors to be "kiwi", I think that is the only path he can take.
 

ozbash_old

Guest
da mad maori said:
Eric,sadly enough isnt' up to speed with what level the young players are at. Certainly we, on occassion are going to come across a talent that can step right into the fold. Badly sadly enough, those who aint up to the mark, slip away.
So,
I would rather see Eric put his money into a reserve grade. It may take a season or two for this to bear fruit, but if he wants the Warriors to be "kiwi", I think that is the only path he can take.

kinda makes you wonder why a busnessman, financier is now turning his hand to developing junior players ?

i agree with you tho trev, we must have a team in prem league. its pretty major for the survival of the club imo.

we had a team in the 90,s.
 

moonfire_old

Guest
"It's been put to me today ... that under New Zealand law the salary cap would not be enforceable.

Is it me or could this open a can of worms best kept unopened.
 

Ronnie_7_old

Guest
Yeah it kind of is. So really the only places that it might be enforecable are VIC and QLD because I read in another thread that it's not enforecable in NSW either so really that means for most of the teams in the comp the Salary Cap is not enforecable
 

scottyb_old

Guest
i agree we need a team in premier league, but i dont think the nrl want that to happen, its too costly for all clubs concerned. When the warriors were first admitted in 95 one of the stipulations was we had to pay for all opposition teams travel expenses for the first couple of years. We couldnt afford that now
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
AmeriKiwi said:
They use every player to their best advantage, mixing things up, which confuses opposing teams in every game. Tom Brady (yes, now officially GREAT) was a 22 year old rookie stepping in for a senior team captain (Bledsoe), who was the highest paid quarterback in the N.F.L. at the time and extremely over rated. The substitution from seasoned veteran to young rookie was the best thing that ever happened to the Patriots, as I`m sure you know.

Just trying to make sure I'm following you correctly...

Tom Brady, as in the only player to earn two Superbowl MVPs?
 

AmeriKiwi_old

Guest
A++++, Jessbass!! BINGO!! Brady`s an amazing player... when he was called in to replace the injured veteran quarterback (Bledsoe) during the 2001 season, he`d never even played in an N.F.L. game before... Pats had lost their 1st two games of the season, and in the 3rd game Bledsoe had his ribs broken, so Brady stepped in. None of the New England fans had ever even heard his name before, but that soon changed. He led the team to their 1st SuperBowl victory ever that year, and followed with 2 more within the next 3 years. He`s so relaxed that he actually took a nap just 2 hours before the 1st SuperBowl in his life... made big plays under pressure throughout the game and got them within field goal range, where their kicker (Adam Vinatieri), kicked a long one to win the game with 6 seconds remaining on the play clock. Their next Superbowl was nearly an exact repeat of the first one, winning by 3 points with just seconds remaining on the clock.
Brady`s a genuine nice guy, no big head at all, and was recently (2005) named Sports Illustrated`s sportsman of the year.
You`re quite right about him being the only player to win 2 SuperBowl MVP`s... by the time he was 23 years old, too. The Patriots built their team in a really smart way, spending more money on a top notch coaching staff and talent scouts...passed on the big name players, quietly searching for young players they felt had potential. The end result was a team of rookies and no names who went on to win 3 SuperBowls in 4 years... tying the record previously set by the Dallas Cowboys, back when there were no salary caps/free agents and a team actually COULD buy all the best veteran players and hold onto them for years to come. Not that way anymore, of course, so it`s really nice to see it can still be done... especially by recruiting a team mostly made up of unknown young players.
I hope the Warriors management will do the same thing by finding local talent right here in our own backyard.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
AmeriKiwi said:
A++++, Jessbass!! BINGO!! Brady`s an amazing player... when he was called in to replace the injured veteran quarterback (Bledsoe) during the 2001 season, he`d never even played in an N.F.L. game before... Pats had lost their 1st two games of the season, and in the 3rd game Bledsoe had his ribs broken, so Brady stepped in. None of the New England fans had ever even heard his name before, but that soon changed. He led the team to their 1st SuperBowl victory ever that year, and followed with 2 more within the next 3 years. He`s so relaxed that he actually took a nap just 2 hours before the 1st SuperBowl in his life... made big plays under pressure throughout the game and got them within field goal range, where their kicker (Adam Vinatieri), kicked a long one to win the game with 6 seconds remaining on the play clock. Their next Superbowl was nearly an exact repeat of the first one, winning by 3 points with just seconds remaining on the clock.
Brady`s a genuine nice guy, no big head at all, and was recently (2005) named Sports Illustrated`s sportsman of the year.
You`re quite right about him being the only player to win 2 SuperBowl MVP`s... by the time he was 23 years old, too. The Patriots built their team in a really smart way, spending more money on a top notch coaching staff and talent scouts...passed on the big name players, quietly searching for young players they felt had potential. The end result was a team of rookies and no names who went on to win 3 SuperBowls in 4 years... tying the record previously set by the Dallas Cowboys, back when there were no salary caps/free agents and a team actually COULD buy all the best veteran players and hold onto them for years to come. Not that way anymore, of course, so it`s really nice to see it can still be done... especially by recruiting a team mostly made up of unknown young players.
I hope the Warriors management will do the same thing by finding local talent right here in our own backyard.

AmeriKiwi, I look forward to when you can recall Warriors matches with that much knowledge! ;)
 

AmeriKiwi_old

Guest
LOL!!! There are a lot of Patriots records, etc., I can`t really remember all that well, Jessbass... when it comes to their 3 SuperBowls, though, I can`t FORGET!! :D I`m definitely looking forward to learning all I can about the Warriors AND being there along with the rest of you loyal Warriors fans when they WIN IT ALL!!! GO MIGHTY WARRIORS!! :arrow: :arrow: :arrow:
 

AmeriKiwi_old

Guest
Grew up just outside Boston, Massachusetts, warrior4life. Home to Boston Celtics, Red Sox baseball, Bruins ice hockey, and the Patriots, of course.
 

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