Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan
- Jul 19, 2004
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Home to Tigertown
By Dean Ritchie
November 10, 2006
Article from: The Daily Telegraph
HE is as Balmain as Dawn Fraser and after a three year hiatus at Manly, Steve "Blocker" Roach now wants to follow his heart home to the Tigers.
Former NSW and Test prop Roach has quit as Manly's assistant coach and is holding talks with coach Tim Sheens about joining the Wests Tigers coaching staff next season.
Manly players yesterday expressed disappointment Roach is no longer at the club alongside head coach Des Hasler.
"Manly was a great experience for me," Roach told The Daily Telegraph.
"They gave me a go when no-one else would.
"I've been there three years and love the joint and their set-up.
"But at the end of the day, it was time to move on.
"My heart has always been with the Tigers.
"I've been having talks with 'Sheensy' so we'll see what happens."
Roach has predominantly helped Manly's forwards and the club's defence ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ the club having contested the last two finals series.
He wants to work with the Tigers and retain his position calling NRL matches with Ray Hadley on 2GB's Continous Call Team.
"Hopefully I have passed a bit on to the players at Manly," Roach said.
"My job was to toss-up some different ideas from left-field and I felt I've done that for Des.
"It's always tough too for someone to be at a club coaching when he can't make it on game day (because of 2GB) and I fully understand that. But I'd like to think I've got some one-on-one skills and at the end of the day I love the game."
Roach denied he wanted to eventually become an NRL head coach.
"It's too time consuming," Roach said.
"I love working with 2GB and my number one priority is working with them, going to the games and calling the footy."
Roach led a brilliant yet at times turbulent career with Balmain ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ his memorable moments etched in rugby league folklore.
He was controversially dragged from the field during the 1989 grand final by coach Warren Ryan ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ a decision which handed Canberra a dramatic 19-14 extra-time win.
Roach missed the 1988 grand final through suspension and ran into trouble in 1990 for tapping referee Eddie Ward on the head after being sin-binned, ending in a four week suspension and a $5000 fine.
He retired on an emotional afternoon in 1992 at Leichhardt Oval.
Roach has three talented sporting sons ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ Daniel is a member of the NSW Waratahs squad, Liam has signed with the Tigers in league with 16-year-old Aidan in Australia's under 19s water polo team.
Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah last night urged his club to sign Roach.
"I've never worked with 'Blocker' but he is a club legend going way back," Farah said.
"'Blocker' will bring passion with him because he was a champion from those great Tigers teams of the 1980s.
"He has done well with Manly and he would only be of benefit to us."
Manly prop Jason King was saddened to hear of Roach's departure.
"It's disappointing," King said. "He was great to work with, especially for the front-rowers.
"He offered plenty of advice and encouragement and you could always talk to him about your game and opposition props.
"He'll be a loss for sure."
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