Okay, so the title of the article is done, time for polite to fuck off!
Background: I’ve been a Balmain fan since 1988 and a Wests Tigers supporter since their inception. I say fan for Balmain because I loved that club. I say supporter for the latter, because as much as I want to tell them to shove it, I’m just toloyal to my old Balmain. So Wests Tigers has become like a tattoo that you got when you were pissed one night and now regret it, but can’t be arsed having it removed, so you just try and hide it.
But every now and then it gets itchy, almost to remind you of its existence.
This year Wests Tigers have pushed me to a place I’ve never been with my club before, to the brink.
To put this into perspective, I supported a team coached by Alan Fucking Jones!
My team won a wooden spoon and suffered the most agonising of grand final losses in 1989.
2012 transcends all that.
And I point the finger squarely at two, how can I say this nicely….nah fuck nicely, two senile, stubborn, arrogant, ignorant, self-obsessed, club crippling, inept, stale old men!
So I’ll keep it short and sweet with fuck all rambling. This will be in order of whatever the hell I want.
WTF! – You have a solid loyal prop in Bryce Gibbs who was born wearing a Magpies jumper and his first word was “Fibros”. The club in 2011 extended his contract for an extra three years. Then some prick decided he was no longer needed and released him.
WTF! – The whole sordid fight for Tim Moltzen with the Dragons in the 2011 off-season. It was like two babies fighting over a piece of poo they found in the sandpit. The Tigers ended up with the shit in their face.
WTF! – For as long as I can remember, Tim Sheens has had next to no depth in the front row. In 2011 we had some very talented juniors coming through, with a Front row rotation of Bryce Gibbs, Keith Galloway, Junior Moors, Aaron Woods and Andrew Fifita with two pups in Matt Groat and Ben Murdoch-Masila coming through. In the space of about 18 months Gibbs, Fifita and Moors have been released. And the only inclusion in the same time was some old bloke playing park footy.
WTF! – Tim Moltzen is clearly the worst player to fill a fullback position I have ever seen. When under the high ball he adopts the “reading the paper while on the shitter” stance and more often than not, failed to touch the ball when contested. He looks uncomfortable, out of his depth, scared and has absolutely no confidence whatsoever there.
WTF! – We lost our fullback James Tedesco just half an hour into the season opener. What did the “Supercoach” do? He moved the only player to have trained at all halfback all year to fullback, thus rendering an entire off-season a waste of fucking time! Moltzen has shown to be a much better player at halfback than at fullback. In Round 4, the absurdity of Tim Sheens’ team positional selections reared their head worse than ever. We had our halfback at Fullback and the player initially selected for fullback, Tom Humble on the bench with Sean Meaney, a specialist fullback! FAAARK!!!
WTF! – The only genuinely skilled halfbacks at the club, Tom Humble and Jacob Miller played a grand total of 5 games between them (4 and 1 respectively) at halfback. The player who trained all off season at halfback played 3 of his 20 games in 2012 at halfback!
WTF! – Abysmal bench rotation especially amongst the forwards saw young prop Aaron Woods averaging near enough to an hour per game, because the dipshits managing the team fucked off all our front row depth to purchase Adam Blair on a monumentally stupidly high salary!
WTF! – Adam Blair! Played pretty well for about 68 minutes in the 23 games he played this year. Morons in the media fell for the bullshit excuse that wasn’t an excuse by Sheens that “He needs to get used to the new structure at the Tigers”…….
WTF! – STRUCTURE? WHAT FUCKING STRUCTURE???
WTF! – …… do you really need to understand a team structure to take a hit up, or make a tackle, or actually not miss a tackle, or not give away stupid fucking penalties? I’m sorry Adam … actually no I’m not…you’re getting paidshitloads, get your fucking hands dirty. A kid 5 years your junior and an old busted bloke 5 years your senior, both on less coin than you, made you look like a passenger all year. Do something productive!!
WTF! – Robbie Farah got suspended this year, and was also selected in all three Origin games. In the trials, a young hooker, Pat Politoni was trialled and played well. When Farah was unavailable, Sheens played second rower Liam Fulton, halfback/fullback Tom Humble and Masada Iosefa, a hooker who was playing park footy as well and signed mid-season in Farah’s position. Politoni managed about 9 minutes in one game off the bench.
WTF! – Sheens had been heralded a long time as being great at bringing through juniors. In the past few seasons we’ve seen the club lose Shannon Gallant and Jake Mullaney and in return signed an old, broken down Wade McKinnon. In 2012 he finally gave a young fullback a go who was tragically injured in his first game. Instead of using Sean Meaney, he just went with some other dickheaded idea that proved to be a failure, again.
WTF! – Centres Chris Lawrence and Blake Ayshford and Second Rower Liam Fulton all played at five-eighth this year. A team sporting the five-eighth who won the Golden Boot award in 2010 is all of a sudden a better option at halfback according to Sheens. According to the results of this oft tried debacle, it continues to be a failure. Even more stupidly, the guy who trained at halfback all off-season returned to the halves in Round 25, at five-eighth, while the five-eighth played at halfback!
WTF! – Marika Koroibete left languishing in the lower grades for 22 weeks before finally getting a run in Round 21. He scored 7 tries in 6 games.
WTF! – Having one of the most damaging five-eighths in the game in Benji Marshall in the side, along with five-eighth turn halfback Tim Moltzen, the Tigers also brought through five-eighth Curtis Sironen after massive pressure to play him on Sheens from many sectors of the public, board, ex-players etc. Give the constant half reshuffles over the course of the year,you’d think a halfback would be a good idea to settle the spine of the team. Sheens and Humphries instead signed another fucking five-eighth in Braith Anasta!
WTF! – In the off-season of 2012, we have seen Junior Moors sign with Melbourne. Ray Cashmere announced his retirement. The Tigers best back for the year Beau Ryan agree to a three year extension on his contract before being allowed to leave the club and sign with Cronulla. Chris Heighington the most capped Tigers player is also Cronulla bound. The latter two came a week after Sheens didn’t use depth as an excuse for the pathetic season by saying that depth was the issue which needs to be rectified. Rectifying depth issues by releasing players and not replacing them?!
WTF! – Sheens didn’t make any excuses again when he said injuries played a big part in the teams poor performance. Injuries are never a viable excuse, I don’t care what you think. Injuries are not unique to one club only. Every team in all 105 years of competition have suffered injuries. This is why teams have 25 man squads. It is up to Humphries and Sheens to sign enough quality players to cover for injuries. By blaming injuries and depth he is clearly saying “We fucked up!”
WTF! – Sheens basically admits he and Humphries massively fucked up in regards to depth, yet neither of them are required to be reviewed in the teams end of season review. How the fuck can you find and solve all the issues at a club with a review if you’re only looking at a portion of the organisation?!
WTF! – Sheens calling fans who criticise him or his decisions as “so called fans”. You know what Tim, we expect the team to be successful, so why don’t you wake the fuck up you so called coach!
WTF! – Sheens essentially having the former CEO sacked because he tried to make the coach accountable by enforcing Key performance Indicators on him. Sheens followed this up with his last contract, when he signed for 3 more years at half a million per season with absolutely no targets or expectations set to achieve. Now our coach and board are held to ransom by an excessively overpaid coach.
WTF! – Mentioning the word loyalty in any sense after the loyalty the club has shown to fans “so-called fans”, players (Gibbs, Heighington, Ryan) and the board (Longmuir).
This club isn’t in decline, it’s in complete freefall. Player’s futures at the club are uncertain, even when they have signed contracts, even if they came through the juniors ranks since age 6. Juniors are being overlooked for park footballers and are feeling unwanted by the club.
And as the final insult, I’m finding it hard as an interstate member to justify becoming a member. An interstate membership for me contains about $40 worth of merchandise I can buy online and one ticket to a HOME game. It costs the same as a General Admission membership with the Melbourne Storm and they give you half a dozen games along with the merchandise. How the hell does that promote the game to those living outside Sydney?
So this interstate member will still follow the team next year, it’s in my DNA, I can’t stop doing it. But the club won’t be getting any of my money, for the first time in well over a decade, until the cleanout begins with Sheens and Humphries and the players get treated with the respect they deserve.