Forgot to paste these two across the rest is about Newcastle:WHY TIGERS
Klemmer arrives at a club which hasn’t played finals football since 2011 and finished last this year with just four wins.
The bookies have already written off their chances in 2023.
“It wasn’t an issue coming here. I was in a similar boat last year with the Knights. We finished somewhere similar,” Klemmer said.
“Wests Tigers beat Parramatta last season, they beat some of the top sides so they obviously have some sort of talent here.
“The club has had a clean out with some staff in coaching and high performance. The club has their own approach and how they’re doing things around training.
“I just want to make sure our performances are consistent. We don’t want to be going up one day and down the next. We have to make sure we don’t put in any s**ty performances.”
The loss of Hastings will sting but Wests Tigers have compiled a fiery and aggressive pack which includes Klemmer, Api Koroisau, Isaiah Papali’i and possibly John Bateman.
“They are quality players and it would be great to have them around,” Klemmer said. “It will be good to get some chemistry and build with this footy side because it is shaping up to be pretty good.”
BEST IS TO COME
At 28, many believe a front-rower is still coming into his prime.
Klemmer will bring 194 games of NRL experience, having also played 14 Origin games for NSW and 19 Tests.
“I don’t want to come here and stuff around,” Klemmer said.
“I want to play consistent, good footy. If I can help some of these guys play first grade then I want to be part of that.
“I can’t wait to get out there and start mixing it and playing with some of the talented young kids we have here. I can see something here.
“In the early days I was a bit wild and had to learn to manage it. It (his aggression) has been tucked away there for the last year but the ‘big fella’ can still come out.
“The club just wants me to play my own game, be the player I want to be and play my best footy.”
SHEENS & BENJI
Veteran Tim Sheens will coach Wests Tigers for the next two years before club legend Benji Marshall assumes the top job for the following three seasons.
“When we are around footy, they are switched on. They breed that,” he said.
“I was looking and exploring my options around my future and those two were appealing. I sat down with ‘Sheensy’ and, after one meeting, I thought they were going to be hard to beat. He has a different approach and different way, different style.
“Sheensy is a footy man, he’s a rugby league man and when he talks, you listen. When you train, he’s hard but he also wants you to enjoy it off the field as well. The way he treats everyone, even the young guys.
“Benji as well. He was another big reason; how he sees the game and how he conducts himself around training and how he talks to the players. He will be a great coach, you can just see it.
“Once footy stops, they want to get to know you and have a muck around. Those two bouncing off each other has been unreal for me. I thought the change would be good. It’s only been a week but you can definitely see some of the changes in and around the change rooms, and on the footy field.”
Klemmer offered up three rising stars he has predicted will star for Wests Tigers.
“Young Stef (Stefano Utoikamanu) had an injury-riddled season but you see glimpses of what he can do. He is going to be a very good player if he keeps developing over the next couple of years. He’s only a young bloke but I think he’s got it,” he said.
“And young ‘Juzza’ (Justin Matamua, who debuted this year against Parramatta), he was just included in the top 30. He’s been pretty good. And Fonua Pole, he is very impressive.”
“There are some talented kids here. This is a young squad, but geez, very skilful.” (DT)
How is it that WT keep sucking me back in. Every. Damn. Year.When David Klemmer thinks back to one of his proudest footballing moments, his thoughts turn to Tim Sheens.
Sheens was the Australian coach back in 2014 when he sprung a selection bombshell by handing Klemmer a green-and-gold jersey after the side lost the opening match of the Four Nations tournament. Klemmer, a 20-year-old tearaway, had made just 27 NRL appearances at the time.
“He didn’t say anything until the end of the week, then he told me I was playing, and I was over the moon,” Klemmer recalled.
“He was good for me, being so young. He’s still got the same coaching style. He knows rugby league inside out. He can adapt to how the game is now - there’s a few things that have changed, but he’s still a good coach.”
Now Klemmer and Sheens have been reunited at Wests Tigers. Klemmer continues an impressive recruitment drive that has already netted Apisai Koroisau, Isaiah Papali’i and Charlie Staines. There are hopes that English international John Bateman could soon join them.
Klemmer made the switch to Concord despite having a year left on his Knights contract, as part of a swap deal with playmaker Jackson Hastings.
“I went back to Newcastle to see if there was anything there for the next couple of years after next year,” he said. “There wasn’t anything and they thought about maybe me and Hastings swapping.
“I’ve got a lot of footy left in me and the fire still burns, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to come here and play for the Tigers. They are definitely looking on the up.”
Klemmer met with Sheens to discuss the move at the Zurich Centre, the club’s new $78 million centre of excellence. By the time the former Bulldog walked out, he was ready to make Concord his home.
“After that first meeting I was pretty much over the line,” he said. “Just how he was talking about things, talking about footy. He’s just a rugby league coach and I still want to get better.
“I’ve played a long time and want to get better in all aspects on and off the field. He’s there and Benji [Marshall] has got his own way he wants to coach and help out. It’s very exciting.”
Klemmer was barely out of his teens when he first crossed paths with Sheens. Now he arrives at the joint-venture outfit as a senior figure keen to help the emerging Tigers forwards.
“There are a lot of young guys coming through, a lot of middles [forwards] with potential,” he said.
“I want to play with them and try to help them out in any way on or off the field. I want to get out there with them, train hard and try to improve them. I love that.”
The Tigers are without a captain after James Tamou shifted back to North Queensland. Perhaps Klemmer could take on the role?
“I’ve only been here a couple of days,” he replied. “You’d have to ask that at the end of pre-season, I’m just getting to know everyone.
“I want to make sure I know everyone in that footy squad, whether they are 17 to however old they are. I want to know them on and off the field. I’m a bit nervous, but I’m loving it.”
Eight years after Tim Sheens handed him his Test debut, David Klemmer has reunited with the veteran coach at Wests Tigers.www.smh.com.au
Maybe we should try and re-sign Moses Suli, he wouldn't have to sleep in his car now we have the COE.Forgot to paste these two across the rest is about Newcastle:
Few in the NRL play under such pressure and scrutiny than Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks. Watching from afar, Klemmer has always been stunned at the strain Brooks plays under.
“When you think of the Tigers, he is one of the highest paid. He has been in a struggling side so obviously they (critics) have to go after him,” Klemmer said.
“When you’re on that (pay) wicket, you’re open to it. He has done his best with what he’s had. He is a quality player. When he’s on, he’s on.
“Luke has had some injuries as well which he would admit to himself. But I’m that pumped for him. Every time I watch the Tigers I just want him to do well.
“I have known him for a long time through mutual friends. If we can build a side here and win some footy games, and make him play to his potential, it’s going to be exciting.
“Api (Koroisau, recruit) will be very good for him and help further his game even more, or just let him play his own game.”
Klemmer was glowing in praise for Wests Tigers’ new 84 million dollar Centre of Excellence and community sport precinct, the Zurich Centre.
The Daily Telegraph was given a tour of the remarkable facility which includes sleep and rehab facilities, gym, aquatic recovery pools, sauna and steam rooms, games room, open floor plan, kitchen and dedicated sports science areas.
There is even a barber’s chair with photos on the wall of former long-haired Tigers and Magpies greats Kerry Hemsley and Mick Liubinskas hanging on the wall.
“It is unbelievable, it’s huge. I’ve heard people say it might be hard to get people here to train in the off-season and do extras,” Klemmer said. “They can’t get them out now. It’s very appealing to the boys to get in here and do their training.
“These facilities are world-class. That’s why they want to come here and rip in with their cardio, run on the nice playing field, go for a swim, have an ice bath, jump in the sauna. Who wouldn’t you want to use it? It’s awesome, mate.”