Jason Taylor all set for first day of pre-season training at Wests Tigers
DateNovember 4, 2014 - 5:31PM
The Wests Tigers will begin preseason training for next year carrying the scars of this season, with 13 of their top 35 unavailable.
New coach Jason Taylor will take over the reins on Wednesday when the Tigers come together for the first day of the post-Mick Potter era.
But the injuries Potter had to contend with will linger into Taylor’s tenure, with almost 40 per cent of the squad unavailable to participate in any physical work on day one.
“We’ve still got a fair few players who won’t be training yet,” Taylor said. “Out of about 35 players, we’ll have a number who won’t be training, recovering from injuries and operations. We’ve also got a few away in the Four Nations. We’ll have 22 on the field tomorrow [Wednesday]. James Tedesco has been running in a limited fashion, which is good to see.”
It won’t be the first time Taylor has addressed the playing group. He has held several individual meetings with selected players, including skipper Robbie Farah before the start of the Four Nations tournament, and also spoke to the group in grand final week.
“On that Friday before the grand final, I met with the playing group at Concord and had a chat about some simple things that I wanted them to start thinking about in relation to professionalism and some basic insights into how we wanted to go about things when they got back for the start of preseason,” Taylor said.
"I met 95 per cent of people that day and had a few chats with individuals since then. I spent a fair bit of time with Robbie initially, chatting about a few different things and had a chat with a few others as well.
“It was good. The vibe from the guys right from the first day has been really good. I was always confident it would be. Footy players don’t like losing. When a new coach comes into any club, if the players aren’t excited about learning new stuff and aren’t a bit nervous about the fact they have to start over again, then you’ve got concerns. But that wasn’t the case.”
Taylor has also introduced a number of changes to the club’s coaching staff that will no doubt shake things up at the joint-venture club.
“Matt Cameron is someone I worked with before and he and I have always had an ambition to work together again down the track,” he said.
"Dave Kidwell was here at the Tigers last year and is going to be our defensive coach. He’s a guy I coached at Souths previously and I know he’s a high-quality person who spent some time at Melbourne, which for me was important, having worked under Craig Bellamy as a coach and player.
“Rod Reddy and I worked together previously at Parramatta. To be honest, we chatted to a few guys about that role and for one reason or another, things didn’t work out with getting them on board. Then one day I was driving and racking my brain about the role, then my phone rang and it was Rod Reddy. He said, ‘I’m not sure if there is anything going at the moment, but keep me in mind’. It was perfect timing.”
Well if Kidwell wasn’t the defensive Coach before…He is now…