A Nation United by a Rookie NRL coach

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BOZO

Journey Man
Tipping Member
I would like to share this remarkable Inspirational against all odds success story written by Adam Pengily from the SMH.
Great Leaders have the ability to Inspire Unity and Success and Inspirational NRL Rookie Coach Andrew Webster has United a Nation and Inspired the Warriors from last years Cellar Dwellers into a Serious top 4 Title contenders
This story is proof that we can make our dream come true if we have the Desire, Discipline and Tenacity to live it

Take it away Adam Pengily !
The Warriors have united a nation with a rookie head coach who describes himself ‘as a player who was slow, very unathletic and lacked any ability at all’. So, how did Andrew Webster get here?
Of all the places to have a working holiday in Europe, the bottom of lifeless concrete steps at a rugby league ground in northern England, picking up papers, would be for very few people. Croatia and Crete and countless other exotic locations are options, but a ginger-haired footballer who knows his playing career is done prefers Craven Park.

Andrew Webster is visiting his brother, James, in Hull. Cynics of the city reckon you can replace one vowel with another and get a more apt description of what it’s really like. The local newspaper once printed an article about the 10 stereotypes townspeople hated hearing, and it reserved a section for “the crappest city in England”.
But for Webster in 2005, it is more like coaching heaven. He’s just 23, but he knows that’s what he wants to do already. It’s easy to imagine how Benji Marshall lands a head coaching role in the NRL, a club legend on a blink-and-you-miss-it apprenticeship, and then parachuted into a top job. The players with big pedigrees on the field always seem destined to get big jobs off it.

But Webster, who never played an NRL game despite being a handy lower-grader with the Tigers and Eels (“I was slow, very unathletic and lacked any ability at all – but I felt like I knew the game”), ends up on the other side of the world watching James, an emergency captain-coach at Hull KR.

“I think the players [like Marshall] that have played 100 or 200 games have earned the right to walk into big jobs,” Webster says. “They can transition straight from playing to coaching. But if you’re not that guy, you’ve got to find another way to go down that avenue – and you’ve got to take a risk.”

Webster’s risk was among the rubbish cascading down the grandstand steps in Hull.
The lazy option would be to describe Webster, 41, as the NRL’s overnight success story, a first-year head coach in charge of the Warriors, the season’s Cinderella tale after years of perennial underachieving. He’s poised to win Dally M Coach of the Year at a canter – topping the likes of Cleary, Bellamy and Bennett – and the Warriors’ resurgence has loosened rugby union’s stranglehold on New Zealand. Webster walks down the street and is accosted by joyous fans. “Up the Wahs,” they yell. But they don’t know the hard option he’s taken to get there.

“I think it’s about volunteering your time,” Webster says. “It’s about doing things for no money. It’s about being so hungry you’re willing to do it no matter what. You make your life outside of football work. I volunteered my time, I picked up training cones, I was a water boy, I got a job at the club picking up papers in the grandstand and then got asked to be the 21s coach and assistant coach in first grade.”
When Webster coached his own under-age team at Hull KR, resources were so limited he had to train them in a car park. There were no hordes of assistants and sports science staff to lean on. He did most of it himself.

“He came over on a bit of a made-up job really,” James says. “Hull KR weren’t the established club they are now. I would go as far as to say there weren’t any facilities. It was nothing like anyone in Australia would understand. Winter in England is extremely hard to find facilities, particularly back then. He would have had to have been extremely resourceful to find facilities, let alone make a good session out of it. But he was a one-man band.”

Andrew says: “You’ve got to learn every aspect of coaching. If you rolled into a full-time environment now in the NRL, sometimes there’s more staff on the field than players. But you had to be a jack of all trades and know every role back then.”

Former Tigers premiership-winning hero and family friend of the Websters, Parramatta general manager Mark O’Neill, knew from a young age Andrew was destined to make it as a coach.
“He’s got a curious mind and he loves to work,” O’Neill says. “He’s got an appetite for knowledge, but at the same time he knows what he wants and what he needs to do to get it. People see him as an overnight success, but he’s been coaching for a long time.”


On a midwinter evening in the northern suburbs of a Brisbane rental home after almost three years trying to keep his club afloat during COVID-19 border closures, Warriors chief executive Cameron George opened a beer.
George’s coach, Nathan Brown, had just told the club he didn’t want to relocate across the Tasman with his family, filling an unusual piece of rugby league history in never actually coaching a game in New Zealand despite being in charge of the country’s only NRL team.

George turned to his flatmate, Kiwi legend and Warriors assistant coach Stacey Jones, and said: “What about Webby?” Jones almost jumped out of his seat.

George had considered Webster for the role when Brown was appointed before the 2021 season, but Webster had already agreed to join Ivan Cleary’s staff at the Panthers (they would win back-to-back premierships in 2021-22). This time, he sent a text to Webster asking about his contract status. George’s phone rang straight away.
“I said, ‘Would you be interested if [a job] came up here? I think the time is right’,” George says. “His exact words were, ‘f--- yeah, George’. I said, ‘Righto, the next time I call you it will be your job to lose’. I said, ‘Don’t worry about what you read in the papers, don’t worry about anything, just leave it with me’.”

A month later, George made the call.
Extracting assistant coaches out of clubs they’re contracted with to take on head coaching roles can be a messy process. More recently, Adam O’Brien fell out with Roosters kingpin Nick Politis as he left his contract early for Newcastle straight after the Tricolours won the 2019 title.

But George went through the front door with Cleary, who he had met at Webster’s wedding, with a simple message: we won’t take any player or coach you want to keep. Cleary’s other assistant at Penrith, Cameron Ciraldo, also left after last year’s premiership, amid a blaze of headlines, to cosy up with Phil Gould at the Bulldogs.
Clubs have such sophisticated social media squads these days it’s almost a surprise when a hidden camera isn’t in place for an NRL player to ring his family to tell them they’re making their debut. The Warriors have a special ceremony for their coaches, with George standing in front of the squad to present Webster with a jumper on the eve of their round one match against Newcastle.
“When he signed on the dotted line, I gave him our roster and I was expecting, ‘I need this player, I need that player, we need this, we need that’,” George says. “There wasn’t one player he said we need to get rid of if you can. He literally backed them all.”

George told the squad: “Every single one of you, Webby has ticked you off. He didn’t want one change. He backed you all when he came here.”

With those words ringing in their ears, the Warriors ran out and upset a Kalyn Ponga-led Newcastle. They haven’t been out of the top eight since.
“I felt like they were misjudged that they didn’t care or want to work hard,” Webster says. “We didn’t even bring up the past. We just brought up what we wanted to be, rather than what people kept telling us. The big thing for me was instilling belief, how much we, as a staff, believed in them.”

Players like Dylan Walker, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Wayde Egan, whose careers were seemingly fizzling away, or at the very least well past their best, are suddenly rejuvenated. But Webster’s biggest achievement has been revitalising Shaun Johnson, who is in contention for a first Dally M Medal.
Like Adam Reynolds at the Broncos, Daly Cherry-Evans at the Sea Eagles or Ben Hunt at the Dragons, Johnson is more an on-field, game managing coach for the Warriors than the flashy, sweet-stepping half of yesteryear, who would leave defenders giddy and with creaking ankles. Webster deflects any credit for Johnson’s sparkling season, claiming his halfback is happy off the field being back in New Zealand, but an honest conversation during pre-season hasn’t hurt.

“Shaun runs our team now,” Webster says. “The amount of opinion I ask Shaun in what he wants from our side and how clear he’s seeing it, I feel like the staff and Shaun have come up with a real style of football that suits our team. There’s been lots of challenging conversations, but I think he’s very ambitious this season.”
Johnson and the rest of his teammates now line up outside Webster’s office every week armed with video they cut up themselves to assess their own performance. Instead of the coaches presenting to and lecturing players, Webster asks his players to bring in their own clips. By the time Webster is finished with them, he’s been listening to his players speak for hours.

“I’m really happy we’re not paying players by the hour this year,” George laughs. “But it’s been outstanding. He’s a pedantic bastard, but he does his homework.”
Webster says: “Everyone had to be responsible for their own development. My coaching philosophy is very inclusive. I’d rather work with a player than stand over the top and intimidate them. And I’m just being the guy who I am. I don’t pretend to be something I’m not.”

Andrew Webster Weaving a Web of Success at the Warriors
1692942788830.png
 

Kiwi Eagle

Moderator
Staff member
They have played consistent footy this year, up there with the most consistent of any team. Can only play who is in front of you, and they have had the kindest draw in the comp, Penrith/Brisbane and Storm once each and losses to all 3, including Brisbane at Origin time, and have had good timing playing others, like Eels at Origin time. Have put away all of the sides that are out of contention which has put them up where they are
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Unheralded coach has done a great job and probably should be coach of the year. But they also recruited extremely well for this year, Niukore and Barnett in particular were very good additions.
Marata Niukore (Parramatta)
Luke Metcalf (Cronulla)
Dylan Walker (Manly)
Mitchell Barnett (Newcastle)
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Canberra)
Te Maire Martin (Brisbane)
Jackson Ford (St George Illawarra)
Brayden Wiliame (Perpignan)

Coach has got them all playing well and several including Johnson, DWZ, in career best form.
Home finals will be massive, a grand final appearance won't surprise.
 

Killer03

Bencher
With us out, I'm actually going for the Warriors. I think it would be great for the game.

I've always had a soft spot for Shaun Johnson. Back around the 2011 GF....he scared the living *rap out of me. I knew if we didn't keep him in check we could lose a GF which we were so heavily favoured to do. And in that last 10-15mins.....holy moly he nearly took it from us.

The thing that has impressed me so much is his transition to a more Cooper Cronk style dictator....really playing his team around the park and making it about the team....not him.

I hope he gets the Dally M as well.
 
I would like to share this remarkable Inspirational against all odds success story written by Adam Pengily from the SMH.
Great Leaders have the ability to Inspire Unity and Success and Inspirational NRL Rookie Coach Andrew Webster has United a Nation and Inspired the Warriors from last years Cellar Dwellers into a Serious top 4 Title contenders
This story is proof that we can make our dream come true if we have the Desire, Discipline and Tenacity to live it

Take it away Adam Pengily !
The Warriors have united a nation with a rookie head coach who describes himself ‘as a player who was slow, very unathletic and lacked any ability at all’. So, how did Andrew Webster get here?
Of all the places to have a working holiday in Europe, the bottom of lifeless concrete steps at a rugby league ground in northern England, picking up papers, would be for very few people. Croatia and Crete and countless other exotic locations are options, but a ginger-haired footballer who knows his playing career is done prefers Craven Park.

Andrew Webster is visiting his brother, James, in Hull. Cynics of the city reckon you can replace one vowel with another and get a more apt description of what it’s really like. The local newspaper once printed an article about the 10 stereotypes townspeople hated hearing, and it reserved a section for “the crappest city in England”.
But for Webster in 2005, it is more like coaching heaven. He’s just 23, but he knows that’s what he wants to do already. It’s easy to imagine how Benji Marshall lands a head coaching role in the NRL, a club legend on a blink-and-you-miss-it apprenticeship, and then parachuted into a top job. The players with big pedigrees on the field always seem destined to get big jobs off it.

But Webster, who never played an NRL game despite being a handy lower-grader with the Tigers and Eels (“I was slow, very unathletic and lacked any ability at all – but I felt like I knew the game”), ends up on the other side of the world watching James, an emergency captain-coach at Hull KR.

“I think the players [like Marshall] that have played 100 or 200 games have earned the right to walk into big jobs,” Webster says. “They can transition straight from playing to coaching. But if you’re not that guy, you’ve got to find another way to go down that avenue – and you’ve got to take a risk.”

Webster’s risk was among the rubbish cascading down the grandstand steps in Hull.
The lazy option would be to describe Webster, 41, as the NRL’s overnight success story, a first-year head coach in charge of the Warriors, the season’s Cinderella tale after years of perennial underachieving. He’s poised to win Dally M Coach of the Year at a canter – topping the likes of Cleary, Bellamy and Bennett – and the Warriors’ resurgence has loosened rugby union’s stranglehold on New Zealand. Webster walks down the street and is accosted by joyous fans. “Up the Wahs,” they yell. But they don’t know the hard option he’s taken to get there.

“I think it’s about volunteering your time,” Webster says. “It’s about doing things for no money. It’s about being so hungry you’re willing to do it no matter what. You make your life outside of football work. I volunteered my time, I picked up training cones, I was a water boy, I got a job at the club picking up papers in the grandstand and then got asked to be the 21s coach and assistant coach in first grade.”
When Webster coached his own under-age team at Hull KR, resources were so limited he had to train them in a car park. There were no hordes of assistants and sports science staff to lean on. He did most of it himself.

“He came over on a bit of a made-up job really,” James says. “Hull KR weren’t the established club they are now. I would go as far as to say there weren’t any facilities. It was nothing like anyone in Australia would understand. Winter in England is extremely hard to find facilities, particularly back then. He would have had to have been extremely resourceful to find facilities, let alone make a good session out of it. But he was a one-man band.”

Andrew says: “You’ve got to learn every aspect of coaching. If you rolled into a full-time environment now in the NRL, sometimes there’s more staff on the field than players. But you had to be a jack of all trades and know every role back then.”

Former Tigers premiership-winning hero and family friend of the Websters, Parramatta general manager Mark O’Neill, knew from a young age Andrew was destined to make it as a coach.
“He’s got a curious mind and he loves to work,” O’Neill says. “He’s got an appetite for knowledge, but at the same time he knows what he wants and what he needs to do to get it. People see him as an overnight success, but he’s been coaching for a long time.”


On a midwinter evening in the northern suburbs of a Brisbane rental home after almost three years trying to keep his club afloat during COVID-19 border closures, Warriors chief executive Cameron George opened a beer.
George’s coach, Nathan Brown, had just told the club he didn’t want to relocate across the Tasman with his family, filling an unusual piece of rugby league history in never actually coaching a game in New Zealand despite being in charge of the country’s only NRL team.

George turned to his flatmate, Kiwi legend and Warriors assistant coach Stacey Jones, and said: “What about Webby?” Jones almost jumped out of his seat.

George had considered Webster for the role when Brown was appointed before the 2021 season, but Webster had already agreed to join Ivan Cleary’s staff at the Panthers (they would win back-to-back premierships in 2021-22). This time, he sent a text to Webster asking about his contract status. George’s phone rang straight away.
“I said, ‘Would you be interested if [a job] came up here? I think the time is right’,” George says. “His exact words were, ‘f--- yeah, George’. I said, ‘Righto, the next time I call you it will be your job to lose’. I said, ‘Don’t worry about what you read in the papers, don’t worry about anything, just leave it with me’.”

A month later, George made the call.
Extracting assistant coaches out of clubs they’re contracted with to take on head coaching roles can be a messy process. More recently, Adam O’Brien fell out with Roosters kingpin Nick Politis as he left his contract early for Newcastle straight after the Tricolours won the 2019 title.

But George went through the front door with Cleary, who he had met at Webster’s wedding, with a simple message: we won’t take any player or coach you want to keep. Cleary’s other assistant at Penrith, Cameron Ciraldo, also left after last year’s premiership, amid a blaze of headlines, to cosy up with Phil Gould at the Bulldogs.
Clubs have such sophisticated social media squads these days it’s almost a surprise when a hidden camera isn’t in place for an NRL player to ring his family to tell them they’re making their debut. The Warriors have a special ceremony for their coaches, with George standing in front of the squad to present Webster with a jumper on the eve of their round one match against Newcastle.
“When he signed on the dotted line, I gave him our roster and I was expecting, ‘I need this player, I need that player, we need this, we need that’,” George says. “There wasn’t one player he said we need to get rid of if you can. He literally backed them all.”

George told the squad: “Every single one of you, Webby has ticked you off. He didn’t want one change. He backed you all when he came here.”

With those words ringing in their ears, the Warriors ran out and upset a Kalyn Ponga-led Newcastle. They haven’t been out of the top eight since.
“I felt like they were misjudged that they didn’t care or want to work hard,” Webster says. “We didn’t even bring up the past. We just brought up what we wanted to be, rather than what people kept telling us. The big thing for me was instilling belief, how much we, as a staff, believed in them.”

Players like Dylan Walker, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Wayde Egan, whose careers were seemingly fizzling away, or at the very least well past their best, are suddenly rejuvenated. But Webster’s biggest achievement has been revitalising Shaun Johnson, who is in contention for a first Dally M Medal.
Like Adam Reynolds at the Broncos, Daly Cherry-Evans at the Sea Eagles or Ben Hunt at the Dragons, Johnson is more an on-field, game managing coach for the Warriors than the flashy, sweet-stepping half of yesteryear, who would leave defenders giddy and with creaking ankles. Webster deflects any credit for Johnson’s sparkling season, claiming his halfback is happy off the field being back in New Zealand, but an honest conversation during pre-season hasn’t hurt.

“Shaun runs our team now,” Webster says. “The amount of opinion I ask Shaun in what he wants from our side and how clear he’s seeing it, I feel like the staff and Shaun have come up with a real style of football that suits our team. There’s been lots of challenging conversations, but I think he’s very ambitious this season.”
Johnson and the rest of his teammates now line up outside Webster’s office every week armed with video they cut up themselves to assess their own performance. Instead of the coaches presenting to and lecturing players, Webster asks his players to bring in their own clips. By the time Webster is finished with them, he’s been listening to his players speak for hours.

“I’m really happy we’re not paying players by the hour this year,” George laughs. “But it’s been outstanding. He’s a pedantic bastard, but he does his homework.”
Webster says: “Everyone had to be responsible for their own development. My coaching philosophy is very inclusive. I’d rather work with a player than stand over the top and intimidate them. And I’m just being the guy who I am. I don’t pretend to be something I’m not.”

Andrew Webster Weaving a Web of Success at the Warriors
View attachment 24758
Thanks for posting @BOZO great article feathered friend, I'm cheering for a Wahs maiden premiership!
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Warriors-Knights grand final would do me. I'm sick of the usual powerhouses (probably because they aren't Manly!)
 

StuBoot

Bencher
Unheralded coach has done a great job and probably should be coach of the year. But they also recruited extremely well for this year, Niukore and Barnett in particular were very good additions.
Marata Niukore (Parramatta)
Luke Metcalf (Cronulla)
Dylan Walker (Manly)
Mitchell Barnett (Newcastle)
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Canberra)
Te Maire Martin (Brisbane)
Jackson Ford (St George Illawarra)
Brayden Wiliame (Perpignan)

Coach has got them all playing well and several including Johnson, DWZ, in career best form.
Home finals will be massive, a grand final appearance won't surprise.
Yes, they have recruited well...so does the credit for those signings go to Nathan Brown?
 

BOZO

Journey Man
Tipping Member
Thanks for posting @BOZO great article feathered friend, I'm cheering for a Wahs maiden premiership!
You are Welcome feathered friend

Although I admire Amazing people that have the capacity and tenacity to rise above expectations and deliver .If they are not delivering for Manly I could never support them .

I am maroon and white color blind and come finals time when our legendary Manly club is not in the finals. I join our clubs exit from the finals series as I fail to see any point in cheering for any of the Enemy . I could never prostitute my Manly colours and sleep with the enemy

The moral of the story...
Fck the Wahs (and the rest of our Enemies)
Manly Warringhas for Ever !

Nothing personal feathered friend and Manly brother @Top End Eagle .
Just my strong point of Manly view
 

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