When I woke up this morning and read the headline “Brian Noble Looks To Swap Super League For The NRL” I felt sick.
I didn’t have to read the article to know that such complete and utter stupidity could only be aiming towards one man.
I mean, lets think about this for a second. An Australian club, based in Australia, where Australians are plentiful, is looking to import a coach from overseas from a country that takes our sick, injured and retired, and thinks they are fricken geniuses!
English coaches are on the nose in England! Super League clubs, the well run ones, wont have a bar of an English coach.
Wigan, Warrington, St Helens, Castleford, Hull KR, Salford, Huddersfield and over in France, the Catalan Dragons, they all have Australian coaches running their clubs. In fact of the 14 clubs in Super League, only 5 of them are coached by Englishmen.
This is a country where Shaun McRae is still talked about for his amazing coaching exploits of the past, and who is the go to man for expert coaching commentary by Sky Sports. A country where Ian Millward is one of the most successful coaches of all time.
A place where Frank Endacott has bucket loads of credibility, where Brian McClennan isn’t seen as a park football coach, but as a legitimate title winner!
To put perspective on how bad coaching is in England, when Nathan Brown was sacked as the coach of the St George/Illawarra Dragons, he headed over to a poor club in the Huddersfield Giants. with very little to work with, Brown simply used the coaching ability he had to try and improve the side.
All of a sudden the Giants become the great conundrum of Super League. They were playing great, their defense was incredible, their attack was hard to slow down. Nathan Brown looked like a coaching god, taking a team thrown together from players the top clubs didn’t want, and they were punching well above their weight.
Nathan Brown people!
The best example however is at Wigan, where the Warriors signed an unknown assistant coach from the Melbourne Storm called Michael Maguire to take over a club on the slide. With no significant additions to the squad, and on pure coaching ability alone, Michael Maguire turned Wigan into the best team in Super League over the course of one off season.
They are favorites to win this years Super League title.
So England is hardly a hotbed of coaching talent. The fact is, if you want a good Rugby League coach, he is either an Australian, or Stephen Kearney.
So why would any Australian club be wanting to waste its time with an old, failed English coach who’s career was dead and buried until a dying Welsh club wanted to use his past false glories as a flagpole to get attention?
Matthew Elliott is good friends with Brian Noble back from his days at the Bradford Bulls. If there is one thing we know about Matthew Elliott, he is quick to give his best friends jobs with Penrith, even if they are not qualified in any way at all for the job.
Penriths trainer is a Pom. The former Bradford Bulls trainer Carl Jennings, who Matthew Elliott befriended during his time at the Bradford Bulls. When Elliott came back to coach the Canberra Raiders, he brought Jennings back with him, because English teams and players have always been known for their incredible fitness….
Then we had the Matthew Adamson debacle. Another good friend of Matthew Elliotts, he was brought to Penrith as an assistant coach, working as a waterboy. He mouthed off in the media about played within the club, he would go off his head at them constantly on the field.
In fact at one point, having been retired for years, he talked about making a one off comeback and playing for the club again, with the blessing of the coach, because the club situated in the biggest junior Rugby League base on the planet was short of players….apparently.
It got to the point where the playing group went to the club and demanded Adamson was sacked!
Elliott and Adamson remain very good friends, to the point where Adamson cant finish a sentence without saying the words “Matthew Elliott”.
Now Matthew Elliott wants to bring in Brian Noble as his assistant coach at Penrith.
Why would the management at the Penrith Panthers allow this to happen?
How could the management of an Australian club approve giving a salary to an English coach who’s career is over? With all the Australian coaches, just in the Penrith area, who you could get for cheap and have the possibility that you just happen to find a diamond in the rough, why would you waste your time with an old English coach?
How about the alternatives that are around right now?
Ricky Stuart is a handy coach. Jason Taylor would be a handy assistant coach. You’d cop Brad Fittler as an assistant coach. Laurie Daley, he would take a job as an assistant coach in the NRL. What about offering it to Stephen Kearney with the idea that he would please, please take over from Matthew Elliott when his ridiculously long contract runs out.
But no, the Penrith Panthers are going to allow the coach to employ yet another one of his mates, a bloke who is not anywhere near up to standard, and they will stand by and allow this rubbish to happen, again!
Matthew Elliott is the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the Penrith Panthers. He is a cancer that needs to be removed as soon as possible.
The fact that the Panthers are playing so well in spite of him is a great credit to the players in the side. How they manage to motivate themselves with a catastrophic failure like Matthew Elliott standing in front of them every single day, these bloke must be mentally tough beyond what any of us can imagine.
I’ve been mentioning all season that the Panthers crowds have been very poor for a club sitting so high on the ladder. This is all down to the supporter base being completely disillusioned by the way the club has been run over the last five years.
No matter what positive roll around, as a Penrith Panthers supporter, you are just waiting for the next fuck up. Its nothing to do with the players, they do their best in the situation they find themselves in. They do a good job and like I’ve said, they have achieved second place in the NRL this year on pure talent alone.
This coach though, what a disaster. Team management needs to step in and not allow this move to happen because at the end of the day, they make the decisions, not Matthew Elliott.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Aug 15, 2019 0