‘BLESSED’ GENTLE TO LEAVE AS A BETTER COACH
By Wayne Cousins
14/09/2011 7:13:36 PM
When Peter Gentle walks through the exit doors for the final time at Concord Oval late next month, he will be leaving as a truly ‘blessed’ man.
Gentle leaves Wests Tigers to take up the head coaching role at Hull FC for the next 3 years in the English Super League.
The popular Wests Tigers Assistant Coach feels he has been blessed in serving his apprenticeship with two experienced campaigners in Tim Sheens and Royce Simmons in his 6 year stint at Concord.
Prior to that, Gentle was the premiership winning Western Suburbs SG Ball Coach in 2002 (a side that included a young Bryce Gibbs and Liam Fulton) before joining Cronulla as an assistant NRL Coach.
Gentle then joined Wests Tigers and was the coach of the inaugural 2008 U20s team – overseeing the raw talent of Tim Moltzen, Rob Lui, Blake Ayshford, Simon Dwyer and Aaron Woods - in conjunction with his role as Assistant NRL Coach.
“It has been an absolute pleasure putting the hours in, working with the young players and seeing them mature over the years from the U20s through to established first graders,’’ Gentle said.
“I will still be watching Wests Tigers from afar and will always be proud of them. I would like to thank Tim, Stephen Humphreys, Warren McDonnell, the Wests Tigers staff and the board of directors for providing me with the opportunity to coach in the NRL."
Gentle said Sheens had been an excellent mentor and always encouraged him to be the best he could.
“Working under Tim, you learn something new every day. He is forever challenging you and by the same token you have to challenge him,’’ Gentle said.
“He has given me plenty of confidence in my ability as a coach. He has encouraged me to get a head coaching role and has been telling me for the past 18 months I was ready.
“What makes Tim stand out is his attention to detail and his preparation. He is forever re-inventing himself. Every pre-season, he comes back with new ideas and we look at potentially different play options. The whiteboard here is covered in plays that we scribble down between us.
“Tim is just rugby league through and through and understands the game better than anyone could imagine. He sees things that the average coach doesn’t see.”
To show how serious he is in making a strong impact at Hull, Gentle has stood down from his position as Australian Assistant Coach under Sheens for the upcoming Four Nations tournament.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for my family. We are going over there with an open mind and three years may turn into longer,’’ Gentle said.
“I am excited at the opportunity to establish myself as a Head Coach with Hull FC and with a strong playing roster, I am confident we will be very competitive during my tenure.”
Wests Tigers Chief Executive Stephen Humphreys acknowledged the contributions of Gentle.
“I’d like to thank Peter for all of his hard work and dedication. He has played a key role in developing some of our younger talent as well as being a tremendous support to our Head Coach Tim Sheens,’’ Humphreys said.
"We wish him well with this new opportunity and hope that we can send him out with a 2011 NRL Premiership to his name.”