Coach or Cattle

This topic pops up from time to time, but I’ve gotta say my opinion has changed this year.

I was of the strong belief after watching footy for 30+ years that coaches need the cattle and that the cattle is more important. In other words most coaches will struggle with an average squad of players.

Would Bellamy have the winning record without the likes of Smith, Slater, Cronk?
Would Brisbane have been so dominant without the star players they’ve had, etc?

Well this year with Ivan and the Tigers squad, I’ve flipped. Not to degrade our players, but on paper the sqaud doesn’t look flash, hence the bottom of the ladder prediction by most. Yet here we are, 5-1. Sure we’ve had a turn over of players but I’m not sure that any other coach would have them playing so well.

So my renewed opinion is that you need a good coach at least as much as you need good players.

Anyone else in the same boat as me?

Yeah tough one TT

You have to have a combination of both in some degree

A champion team will beat a team of champions comes to mind , but you have to have people behind them to make them believe this can actually happen

The other point is from the outside it looks like every player is playing to their optimum level most weeks

That bloody helps big time when you are dealing with salary caps

Cleary said something in the Manly presso which I think proves they are setting mini goals to achieve every week when he said " we crossed out another target by beating Manly at Brooky "

They aren’t getting ahead of themselves so far and Cleary is keeping them even headed

That bloody helps as well , if this was under any of our previous coaches , we would of heard all the one liners , but they would of gone out and tried to outplay what they did the week before

A great saying from golf is you don’t have to draw a picture , a 3 is a 3

We may have won a few games in 2018 without the 2005 panache , but you still only get two points whether you win by 50 or 1 and sometimes the uglier it is , the better it is

Ivan seems to have had a plan to recruit the types of players that would fit into, or buy into, the culture he knew that the club needed to develop. It seems he was more fixated on developing a work ethic and a players attitude to the team, than anything else. I have heard him say a few times that such and such player was the right player for this time or the current situation at the club.
Couple this with the objective of having good depth across the board and the concept of competition for spots yet still maintaining a healthy squad mentality so that every player is taking his opportunity if picked in the 17.
He has recruited guys who had something to prove and still had something to offer if given the chance. He also brought in good staff and fitness people. I actually think he has also been surprised with the results and chalking up these early wins.
Keeping the whole team focused and not listening to the hype in the media - simply working to improve each weeks performance - is going to be tough.

Great question. I guess, with the highly organised and drilled defenses these days, together with a leaning towards mistake free, programmed football, there is less chance for the creme (supremely talented players) to rise to the top and dominate games. Also, anyone who plays first grade must have a superior level of talent to even make the team so the difference in player talent from one team to the next is not necessarily as pronounced as you would think. My answer is that coach and roster are of equal importance. Obviously if you have a batch of supremely talented players, with a range of personalities, a good coach will harness it all and provide the platform on which the squad will realise their full potential. Conversely, if the coach doesn’t come up with sound game plans, be a good manager of men or provide the motivation, a talented team will not produce its best. In the case of the Tigers, Cleary seems to be ticking all three of the boxes mentioned above. However, despite the fact that the Tigers appear to be playing to or near the top of their playing ability, I’m not sure we have the depth of talent necessary to go all the way. I hope I’m wrong but, either way, full marks to Ivan for turning the club around and getting the players to believe in themselves.

I think a lot of people have, and still are underestimating our squad of players. When Woods and Ava left people didn’t like their replacements - Matulino and Packer - but wow haven’t they been great. Benji coming back wasn’t looked upon as a great plan for the team, only a positive for the club. Not only is Benji playing well I think he has rejuvenated Brooks who is now being mentioned for SOO.

The other cheap surprise packet is Corey Thompson who is doing well at either wing or fullback. Throw in last years debutants, Eisenhuth and Twal as well as the improving Aloiai and CheeKam and we have a team of ‘doers’

We lost the three amigos, stars or stars in the making, who didn’t seem to produce winning team performances too often and we replaced them with cheaper ‘fill-ins’ who wanted to prove a point and were willing to work with others.

However, you need a decent coach who knows what it takes make a team, to train as a team and to play as a team. Cleary has spent his entire coaching life building teams from the bottom up.

To top it off, I thought he would bring in his own team of assistants but apart from Hodgo he has kept the previous staff. Another Cleary masterstroke was Ronnie Palmer.

It feels good right now but if we don’t make the finals from here it will feel like a big letdown at seasons end.

For me, Cleary is by far the reason we are doing so well. As for ‘super coaches’ Bennett and Bellamy I think they are a poor second to the great Jack Gibson. Bennett and Bellamy have never coached at a struggling club. Newcastle doesn’t count because Tinkler gave Bennett a blank cheque book when he started.

Cleary has a team of experienced, no nonsense players AND about $3M under the cap to boot.

I think your original assumption is correct Toowoomba. I believe that an ordinary coach can win a comp with a great team, but that a great coach could not win a comp with an ordinary team. A coach needs the cattle.

Amazing what depth can do. No one is guaranteed a spot. They also look like a much fitter and mentally tough team, which allows them to compete for the 80 mins.

CQ I think if Bellamy takes over from Bennett in the future at Brisbane he would create a bigger dynasty than he has created in Melbourne

With the prowess he has at picking great footballers , having the backing of the Thoroughbreds , being part of the biggest one club /one city football mad cities and mixed with his obvious coaching talent , Brisbane could become damn near unbeatable

A coach needs the correct cattle,

Both are important however a coach does not miss tackles, drop balls, make bad defensive reads, etc

I admire Bellamy, he seems to have the knack of turning nobodies into somebodies.

Bennett always had the pick of the crop in Qld which made his job easier at the Broncos for all those years.

Cleary, seems to have some similar traits as Bellamy, where he can turn nobodies into somebodies, i.e Marsters is a good example.

Wasn’t there a movie about this scenario in sport?, It’s Money Ball, apparently the Sydney Fumble Ball team won a Premiership based on that and we, The Tigers have picked up on this possibility, spend low/pick up players who want to ACHIEVE!.

stating the obvious:
a) good coach will know what type of game his team shall play (e.g. strong D, allow minimum line breaks, strong going forward, fast backs, high completion % etc.)
b) based on a) a good coach will choose players -> major influence on hiring/firing policy
c) good coach would train his players to minimise the gap between his ideal game and the team past performances
d) good coach selects players on form
e) replaces like with like
My preference is Bellamy type of coaching, and it looks like Cleary is going in that direction :sign:
There is a parallel between WT (unexpected) success and performance of some players, especially Brooks, Naiqama, Thompson, Rochow and Marshall,

Its always the coach.

Every signing is on the coach.

Talent recruitment, depth and attitude are all on the coach.

A combination say 70% coach and 30% players.

Coach keeps them grounded, teaches them work ethic and holds them together. He gives them the tactics, the game plan and structure to play to.

The players have to be capable but more so willing.

IC to me seem the ideal leader/coach, humble but ruthless… its never him or what he is achieving,. its the team, sings praise of players contributions etc… but ruthless… dont perform to the set standards &… well we know what happened to Nofa, Tui.
The people coach side is often overshadowed by the technical side, the latter often being the strongest suit of an ex-player but IC seem to have the team really engaged way beyond the technical sense.
Same crew with JT on the helm… i highly doubt we be 5-1.

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