Sentiment is soft, Steve plays to win

Sentiment is soft, Steve plays to win
By Dean Ritchie From: The Daily Telegraph April 16, 2010 12:00AM

IF YOU’RE looking for sentimentality in rugby league, don’t bother calling Steve Folkes.

Tonight, for the first in 32 years, Folkes comes against Canterbury Bankstown - the club where he won four premierships as a player and one as coach.

Folkes will be in Wests Tigers colours this evening - as strength and conditioning coach - when his new club meet Canterbury at the SFS.

A former Australian forward, Folkes has always been known as a tough, emotionless, uncompromising, even prickly, character from the hard old days of rugby league.

Folkes, 51, will forever be a legend at Belmore as a second-rower, trainer and head coach.

He played 245 games for Canterbury and coached the first-grade side over 288 matches since first walking into Belmore back in 1978.

Yet Folkes doesn’t seem to care much about his past.

When contacted by The Daily Telegraph yesterday, Folkes did not seem all that emotional about playing against Canterbury.

“It’s just another game. I’m just doing the job [for the club] where I’m at now,” he said.

Asked if he had any emotion about the game, Folkes said: “Not at all.”

Asked if he had a soft spot for the Dogs, Folkes - in a shot at management - said: “For the players.”

“I know Steve Folkes and he is not a man of any great emotion,” said Canterbury great Steve Mortimer, a former teammate.

“He will want to see Wests Tigers belt Canterbury - and that is understandable. He is a human being and his employer is now Wests Tigers.”

Folkes remains miffed at being forced out of Canterbury after 10 years as a NRL coach.

In that time, he recorded 162 wins for a success rate of 56.3 per cent.

“With Steve Folkes there as their strength and conditioning coach I know they’ll all be fit,” Canterbury captain Andrew Ryan said.

"Folkes is a very hard worker and I’m sure he’s done some great things with those guys, as he did with a lot of people here at this club for a long time.

“Folkesy is a very mentally tough guy and it didn’t matter if he was coaching or in that role early on here at Canterbury but he has always been a mentally strong guy, so I’m sure he’ll be transferring that through to their players.”

Former Newcastle premiership-winning coach Michael Hagan said Folkes had made a substantial difference to Wests Tigers this year.

“They already look a different side to recent years,” Hagan said.

“Folkes has the Tigers looking more and more like the old Bulldogs, tough and uncompromising.”

“He has really given the joint venture club plenty of grunt. I reckon Wests Tigers are top four candidates.”

Folkes boosts Wests
16/04/2010 7:09 AM
Adam Lucius
Sportal

For more than 500 games as player and coach over 32 mostly success-filled years, Steve Folkes’ blood ran blue and white.

But on Friday night the Canterbury great would love nothing better than to see his old joint put to the sword by Wests Tigers, the club he now calls home as a strength and conditioning coach.

Folkes left Belmore amid much acrimony in 2008, the wooden spoon a parting ‘gift’ as the family club turned on one of its own and showed him the door.

It came as a shock to the man who played a part in five premierships (four as a player, one as coach) and the anger still lingers.

After a short stint attempting to lift the fitness levels of Chris Gayle and co in the West Indies cricket side, Folkes accepted a role back in the NRL with the Tigers this year.

He is now being put forward as a big reason why the Tigers finally have some grit to go with the glitz, the joint venture club now stopping points as well as scoring them to move into equal first place on the table after five rounds.

Folkes was reluctant to discuss his first encounter with his old club, saying: “It’s just another game.”

“I’m just doing the job where I’m at now. That’s all I’m worried about.”

But Canterbury skipper Andrew Ryan, who enjoyed a close relationship with Folkes, has no doubt the arrival of Folkes has stiffened the Wests Tigers.

"With Steve Folkes there as their strength and conditioning coach I know they’ll all be fit-as so they’re certainly looking good at the moment,’’ he said.

“He (Folkes) is a very hard worker and I’m sure he’s done some great things with those guys too as he did with a lot of people here at this club for a long time.”

"Folkesy’s a very mentally tough guy so I’m sure he’ll be transferring that through to their players.’’

Bulldogs coach and Folkes’ brother-in-law Kevin Moore doesn’t believe the former coach’s intimate knowledge of the set-up at Canterbury will help the Tigers.

“There’s been quite a few changes,” Moore pointed out.

“Obviously Steve knows a fair bit about the club but I think for us and where we’re at it’s more about focusing on the things that we can control.”

Folkes has been a great buy,we havent yet seen the full impact he will have.

@851:

Folkes has been a great buy,we havent yet seen the full impact he will have.

Agreed. They look stronger already and can play out the 80 minutes but the full impact will be seen at the back end of the season.

@prattenpark:

@851:

Folkes has been a great buy,we havent yet seen the full impact he will have.

Agreed. They look stronger already and can play out the 80 minutes but the full impact will be seen at the back end of the season.

Yeah that or the magic bands…

Great move by Sheens bringing in Folkes…identified where we were weak…Did something about it…

2010 is different…Belief is a big change that’s hard to meassure…

Folkes is a complete professional. He lives his life the way he trains the team. With unwavering commitment and hard work.

@Geo.:

@prattenpark:

@851:

Folkes has been a great buy,we havent yet seen the full impact he will have.

Agreed. They look stronger already and can play out the 80 minutes but the full impact will be seen at the back end of the season.

Yeah that or the magic bands…

Great move by Sheens bringing in Folkes…identified where we were weak…Did something about it…

2010 is different…Belief is a big change that’s hard to meassure…

I reckon its the magic bands. I am going to buy a couple myself. I will give one to Kul as a present.

@willow:

“They already look a different side to recent years,” Hagan said.

“Folkes has the Tigers looking more and more like the old Bulldogs, tough and uncompromising.”

“He has really given the joint venture club plenty of grunt. I reckon Wests Tigers are top four candidates.”

i don’t want to take anything away from folkes but this statement by hagan is pure crap.
can’t remember the old dogs conceding double the points of the top 2 teams and 10th in defense.
still a long way to go.
when i look at how we played the last half in defense last year i don’t see this huge difference in play.

Recent Topics

Support our community by clicking here and joining our Forum Support Scheme