Alternate perspective on the Brown coaching saga

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Journey Man
The trials of loving Brown:

It is a scenario that we often see played out in suburbia. Son or daughter arrives on the doorstep with new partner and stars in their eyes, declaring “this is the one� to be met by family wearing blank stares that betray open bemusement or even outright hostility.

These people don’t want to be rude, but they do want the best for their offspring and the person they’ve just presented as the “love of their life� is, for varying reasons, patently incompatible, inappropriate or even downright dangerous.

However, have you ever tried to explain reason or logic to someone in the first flushes of love? Anyone that has been in that situation will attest that it is not an easy task. The raging flames of early passion and hormonal attraction burn fiercely against the cold ice of long term thinking and principles such as compatibility.

As the Dragons slump to four losses and the pressure continues to mount upon coach Nathan Brown, it does beg that the question be asked. Have the Dragons been similarly blinded by ‘love’?

When Nathan Brown was appointed to the head coaching position at St George it seemed, at best, a bold gamble. Brown had always been something of a larrikin and discipline had not seemed to be a hallmark of his playing career. Would the Dragons have taken such a bold gamble had he been a player with another club or not viewed as a ‘favourite son’?

He had precious little coaching experience behind him but peddled the cliché to the media that he had served under some great coaches and learned much off them. These being the same coaches that St George had seen fit to sack over the years!

Still in his twenties, Brown was also placed in the position of having to coach men who had been his peers only a few years previous. Brown did not appear to be the type of hard-nosed character with the resolve required to instil discipline and dedication. Would he be taken seriously when doling out wisdom of chiding men who had been team mates and drinking buddies to that point?

In his favour was the inheritance of a playing roster that was the envy of every other club in the NRL. If it can be said that the likes of Wayne Bennet and Bob Fulton owed their success as coaches to the quality of their playing roster, then surely Brown would be a walk up start to similar accolade?

It hasn’t happened. Whilst representative sides have bristled with Dragons players at the peak of their powers these same players under Brown have never managed to translate representative prowess to the club level when it really matters.

Worse has been the tell-tale signs emerging from the Dragons camp indicating a lack of the kind of authoritative leadership required for success. Captains (Thompson) arriving drunk for training, representative stars wanting time away from the game (Gasnier) and a seemingly endless stream of ‘minor’ incidents seem to betray a lack of the focus and intensity demanded for positive results. Surely Brown’s extra-curricular activities in horse racing and the tote also detract from the single-minded devotion required to be successful in the coaching game?

Harsh? Yes, but professional sport is a harsh business and the price of success is high. As a fan of another club I’m not a shareholder in the St George franchise but if I were I’d be demanding answers from those who courted Brown and continue to keep him in the fold. This brings me back to my original illustration.

When confronted with the genuine concerns of loved ones star-struck lovers generally take one of two approaches. They either step back and evaluate the advice and act accordingly, presuming there’s a kernel of truth.

Or they adopt a bunker-like attitude that sees them doggedly act against the advice of those that know them well. Generally this ends in tears and regret at “not taking good advice� being expressed years later.

It is hard to know exactly what is going on in the St George bunker. However, one thing remains sure. Whilst people external to the club cannot speak with all of the facts, there is much that can be gained seeking the kernel of truth in their criticism.

An external perspective can be invaluable, especially when under achievement becomes chronic and institutionalised. How much longer can the Dragons continue the love affair and pay the price by under achieving?


UFO Hunter
It has to be the QLD air in the lungs which clears the mind because that my friend is one of the best. :clap: :clap: :clap:


First Grader
That's sensational and very hard to argue with.....The telegraph would love it.......But you'd say you're a "The Australian" reader... :blah: :clap: :clap:


Journey Man
SMH reader actually.

That will be thos round's entry in the F7s over at LU. Thought you'd all like an advance look BEFORE the game this weekend - just in case we lose!


Winging it
Great stuff. Your material has quantum leaped.
I remember Brown's appointment being hailed as an astute decision as Ricky Stuart turned from player to coach with success and all the new 'experts' declared that was what was needed today. As an individual Brown doesn't seem to have the intensity. I have nothing against him (well, nothing that a bit of face slapping wouldn't fix) but I hope it will 0 - 5 this weekend.
<span class='smallblacktext'>[ Edited Fri Apr 08 2005, 03:21PM ]</span>


Journey Man
Its a very silimar situation here in terms of the coaches credentials. He played with some of the players and has less experience than most. Big difference is he was a hard arse fit prick when he played and brings that to the team.

Brown would be better off giving the under achievers a run in PL or something - putting thompson on the bench worked for him last week.

Not a bad write up mata - but will it be original enough for the 7's?


Journey Man
and possibly stakeholder would be better than shareholder - include more parties - sponsors etc.

just a thought that came to my mind

The Wheel
Premium Member
I have met and socialise with the Brown - he is a great Bloke. But I do not detect the smae "single mindness" or "ruthlessness" that comes from Ricky Stuart, Warren Ryan, Jack Gibson, Bozo and dare I say Des.

Succesful organisation have that arrogance about them, Gasiner has wanted to leave for a couple of seasons, Bailey will be at the Sharks next year. Timmins doesn't talk to Brown. They need a broome or a new coach, the board/Ceo cannot make a decision one way or another.

Now I just hope Manly win or we will all have egg on our faces.


Reserve Grader
I was beaten to the StGeorge Flegg hooking position by Brown. I sat on the bench for a couple of games when injury had hit the previous season and was told that i would be strongly considered for the following season. In the mean time Saints changed their recruitment strategy under new coach Smith and decided to bring promising youngsters from the country into their junior rep sides when previously these sides had pretty much been filled by the best of the local juniors. 2 of these country kids were Tallis and Brown. Both fantastic players and a credit to Saints that they spotted and recruited them at 17 years of age. Brown certainly deserved the spot ahead of me and my footy career would never have extended beyond Flegg anyway. I was disappointed at the time by in hindsight he did me a massive favour. Had things turned out differently i could be stuck coaching that rabble at Saints right now.

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