Five areas Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor will need to get right to succeed in NRL’s toughest job
Ben Glover FOX SPORTS September 30, 2014 12:48PM 0
WESTS Tigers have gone from a stable club for much of the Tim Sheens era to a volatile one with an itchy trigger finger.
After Sheens was dumped with two years left on his contract at the end of the 2012 season, Mick Potter walked into an environment with the whiff of player power running through it and never looked to have a comfortable footing at Concord.
In an interview with the Sunday Footy Show after Potter’s axing, the coach revealed he never felt he had the authority to make the big decisions he needed to make to turn the club’s fortunes.
In that kind of atmosphere even Wayne Bennett would struggle to survive.
Now that Jason Taylor’s got the gig, what needs to change at the Tigers for him to survive and the club to prosper?
Here’s five keys for the Tigers to have success under Taylor.
The skipper is arguably the most powerful figure at Concord and has a huge influence on how the club is run. Once he made his mind up about Potter’s coaching ability it effectively strapped a time bomb to the young NRL mentor’s chest. By the time Farah’s conversation with Gorden Tallis went public the damage had been done.
For Taylor to succeed he must become a great diplomat, convincing Farah he has the blueprint for success without handing it over for his skipper to control. If he gets Farah on side without kowtowing to him, Taylor will have a far easier job implementing his ideas with the rest of the team.
THE FOOTBALL DIRECTOR
One of the biggest balancing acts Taylor will have to perform at the Tigers is putting in place his methods while trying to fulfil someone else’s vision. As they announced Taylor as their new coach, the Tigers also introduced Taylor’s boss, Phil Moss, who has been hired as the general manager of football operations — a role similar to Phil Gould’s at Penrith. Taylor and Moss have worked together before at Parramatta and enjoyed a working relationship Tigers CEO Grant Mayer has described as “strong”. It will need to be. If Taylor at any stage loses Moss’s confidence the coach will be toast.
THE YOUNG GUNS
The Tigers have the best young roster in the competition — no question. If they don’t win a premiership inside the next three years — the term of Taylor’s contract — they’ll have underachieved. The first grade careers of Luke Brooks, Mitchell Moses and James Tedesco have started brightly, but potential’s one thing, fulfilling it’s quite another. If Taylor can take them to the next level, he’s got a good chance of convincing them all to stick around. After that contending for premierships will only be a matter of time.
AWAY FROM THE FIELD
Taylor’s tactical ability has always been his greatest strength but the former star halfback has had his issues mastering the off-field side of his job. Remember his sacking from the Rabbitohs? After being the first coach to take Souths to the finals following their readmission, Taylor fell on his sword at the end of his second season in the job after being knocked out by one of his senior players — David Fa’alogo — in an infamous Mad Monday fight in a Surry Hills hotel. Taylor was alleged to have struck Fa’alogo in the stomach before the big prop retaliated. For Taylor to succeed in this role he will need to command the respect of his players away from the training track as well as on it.
HIGH PERFORMANCE UNIT
Over the past two seasons the Tigers have had to cope with one of the worst injury tolls in the NRL. It comes a time where you have to stop putting this down to coincidence and start taking a proper look at the facilities, high performance staff, and training program. Yes, Taylor’s blessed to walk into a club with so much talent, but that’s not going to help if all his best players again drop like flies in 2015. Getting the high performance side of things right will be Moss’s responsibility more than it will be Taylor’s, but the coach needs to make sure his opinion is heard and keeping his top talent on the field is prioritised.
http://www.foxsports.com.au//nrl/nrl-premiership/five-areas-wests-tigers-coach-jason-taylor-will-need-to-get-right-to-succeed-in-nrls-toughest-job/story-e6frf3wu-1227075113233#itm=newscomau|sport|ncam-story-body-link|6|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxsports.com.au%2F%2Fnrl%2Fnrl-premiership%2Ffive-areas-wests-tigers-coach-jason-taylor-will-need-to-get-right-to-succeed-in-nrls-toughest-job%2Fstory-e6frf3wu-1227075113233|story|Taylor%26%238217%3Bs Tigers%3A Five keys to success&itmt=1412468976226