So, I was reading this article on nrl.com – http://www.nrl.com/henry-let-down-by-lack-of-leadership/tabid/10874/newsid/111285/default.aspx
In the article it’s suggested that Neil Henry constructed a really poor leadership group. It elaborates by saying Wayne Bennett has always constructed a really strong and experienced leadership group. Bennett trusts them to keep the rest of the playing group focused and disciplined.
Wayne Bennett-coached teams have always had a core group of senior players who he trusted to not only act as mediator between the wider playing group and the head coach but also the ones to self-police the discipline within the organisation.
Young players such as Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday didn’t need to be told by the coach to pull their heads in when they came into the Broncos system because Shane Webcke, Gorden Tallis and Darren Lockyer had the strength of character to drag them into line before Bennett ever got wind of it.
He basically has them look after the squad. It’s argued that the small and inexperienced leadership group was the major reason that Hayne and the rest of the squad were lacking discipline and respect for the coach.
When it was clear Jarryd Hayne wasn’t reaching the standards that others expected he was fined by the leadership group but it didn’t appear to have a significant impact.
James admitted only two weeks ago that he has doubted his capabilities as a leader this year as the club has struggled to put wins on the board and that he has sought assurances from the other side of the globe from good friend Greg Bird.
For all the headaches he created on and off the field in his seven years on the Gold Coast Bird is the player and personality that the Titans’ roster is desperately lacking in 2017 and whom could have prevented the fracturing of the playing group that ultimately cost Henry his job.
Bird has the strength of character to be able to pull Hayne or any player for that matter aside either with a harsh rebuke or a reassuring word and meet him as an equal.
There’s no telling whether what he could have said would have made a difference to such an enigmatic character as Hayne but Bird would have provided the support James needs in his transition as captain, held his teammates to account and ensured that they never turned in successive performances like they have for the past month.
Foundation player Nathan Friend is another whom returned to the club and immediately helped to enforce standards that carried the team into the finals for the first time in six years last season.
Anyway, I thought Bennett’s leadership model is something that looks like it could be really useful for us going into the next couple of seasons. And that got me thinking as to who would be in this leadership group.
My proposed leadership group: Josh Reynolds, Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Chris Lawrence.
To me, this kind of role seems perfect for Reynolds. Even if he was to be so-so on the field, that kind of leadership role would be invaluable to the team. I assume this is what Cleary is already looking to do, just by looking at the squad he has assembled.
Anyway this probably isn’t very interesting but, it jut got me a bit more excited for the future of the club.