New Tigers coach Mick Potter is clear: he’s his own man but he wants to meet Tim Sheens
NEW Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter made it clear yesterday he was very much his own man, but at some point in the coming days or weeks he plans to sit down with his predecessor Tim Sheens to discuss the playing squad he will have at his disposal next season.
Potter, whose appointment on a two-year contract was confirmed at a press conference yesterday afternoon, also put his under-performing players on notice when he described himself as a disciplinarian - and said he expected those under him to fall in to line.
Sheens was sacked as head coach in late September following a decade in the role - he is yet to announce whether he will stay with the club and perform a role in development - but Potter acknowledged he would like to speak to the game’s longest serving coach.
“I haven’t spoken to Tim, but he is a fantastic coach and his longevity in the game just shows what a great coach he has been,” Potter said.
“I think I will speak to him in the next couple of weeks.”
Chief executive Steve Humphreys added: "As I have said in relation to Tim, we remain keen for Tim to play a role, particularly overseeing our development activities and some plans we have for southwest Sydney.
"We have spoken to Tim about that and that will run its course. As I say, it really is up to Tim now to have a think about that and come back to us. I would hope and expect that Tim and Mick would have some dialogue about the team. We would be foolish not to try to tap Tim’s experience here in that regard.
“At the same time, I know Tim would want to give Mick all the space he needs to get on with his job.”
Sheens remains on holidays and is expected to resolve his future in the coming weeks.
The club has offered him a role which would involve setting up and overseeing an academy in southwest Sydney but the feeling is that Sheens, the current national coach, would rather pursue opportunities elsewhere.
The Tigers have other issues to deal with as well, notably the future of hooker Robbie Farah, who is off contract at the end of next season and already in the sights of Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart.
Not surprisingly, both Humphreys and Potter want Farah to stay.
“Clearly, Robbie is a high priority for us. He is our captain and most influential player so Robbie is aware of our desire to lock in an extension to his current contract, which has a further 12 months to run,” Humphreys said.
"But I can’t give you a timetable on that. Clearly that is an important contract for Robbie in the context of his career.
“He knows what we want to do and that will get managed in due course.”
The other big name at the Tigers is Benji Marshall, a player who infuriated the club’s fans at times last season. Marshall remains one of the game’s marquee names and Potter said he had no plans to stifle the New Zealand captain.
“You don’t want to stifle a player like Benji,” he said.
"You look at the things he does - he creates space for other people and himself. He’s very good at it. I don’t want to stifle that and that’s his style.
"I’ll make some subtle changes, not to his game but to complement other people. It’s a team game.
"To get the best out of everyone there might be some subtle changes there.
“He’s a good player. He’s got the highest try assists in the competition. You don’t want to stifle that.”
Asked specifically about the influence Marshall and Farah wield at the Tigers, Potter said: "I don’t want to keep looking backwards.
"They are influential players, and I want them to keep having influence.
“Ultimately, I’m the head coach and it’s a case of being about the team.”
Only bloke left in the whole conversation is Farah
Where will we be in 2 years time I wonder ??
Yeah, interesting hey.
That and the comments in regards to making sure players are in their place.
He had the players in their place
Paterson on the wing
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