<big>Marshall hopes to hitch wagon to his favourite coach - Sheens</big>
BENJI MARSHALL isn’t interested in playing under anyone but Tim Sheens at Wests Tigers and wants the club to sign the veteran coach for the remainder of the superstar five-eighth’s career.
That would mean another five years at this stage, as Marshall is contracted until the end of 2015, but there is every chance he will play for longer as he will be only 30 by then.
Tigers chief Stephen Humphreys has begun negotiating a new deal with Sheens, whose contract runs out at the end of this season.
Sheens would prefer to remain at the Tigers but it remains to be seen if he and the club can make a deal.
Marshall, who at NRL level has only ever been coached by Sheens, was visiting schools with other Tigers players yesterday, and the Herald asked if he wanted Sheens to coach him for the rest of his career.
‘‘Oh, definitely,’’ Marshall replied. ''I’m obviously going to be there for the rest of my career - I’m signed for the next five years - so it would be great to see him re-sign and stay.
''If he doesn’t it won’t be the end of the world but I’d definitely be disappointed if he went.
''I’ve spent all my career under Tim, and I love the way he coaches and the way he lets me play.
‘‘It would be a great shame to see him change to any other club because of the way he’s turned our club around and the way he’s helped me out throughout my career, so I might have to get in his ear the way he gets in my ear whenever my contract is up.’’
Four-time premiership-winner Sheens is 60 but shows no sign of winding down his coaching career.
He is keen to continue at the Tigers but if the club cannot finalise a deal with him soon, rival clubs are likely to approach him.
‘‘I don’t think Tim is ever going to finish coaching,’’ Marshall said. ''I’ll probably be finished playing and he’ll still be coaching, he loves the game that much.
‘‘He’s been a great mentor for myself and a great role model. He has really helped me a lot, on and off the field, and it would be a shame if he ended up leaving.’’
The player’s manager, Martin Tauber, said he wasn’t surprised Marshall wanted Sheens to stay.
‘‘Their relationship goes beyond just player and coach,’’ Tauber said. ‘‘They are friends, with a high regard for each other.’’
Sheens has a tremendous ability to relate to young players. Marshall said it was because he was understanding and moved with the times.
‘‘He’s got this knack of keeping up with the game,’’ he said. ''He gets out to that many games and watches how it evolves and he has evolved a lot of it himself.
''When I first got to the club he never used to joke around that much, he was quite serious, and then I think having all of us young guys around really loosened him up.
''You’ve got to be able to relate to your players as a coach. That’s why he’s been successful and one of the greatest coaches of all time.
''You don’t get that just by a fluke. I think he’s been able to relate to his players throughout his career.
‘‘He definitely relates to me. He knows if I’m down or he knows if I need to be talked to - he can just tell. I don’t know how he does it. If I’m struggling at home, he knows. He must be psychic or something.’’
Just sign the man before someone else does, & remember we were crap before he came along & changed our club.
Its a no-brainer
X3 Totally agree. His selections at times puzzles me, but he has turned our club into a place people feel loyality and commitment to stay at. Compared to the bad old days of wayne the hack pearce and terry to fat to walk lamb, sheens has made us into a force. Look at our juniors and the way they are coming through the grades, we almost dont need to sign people from other clubs and that has everything to do with sheens!!!