Gus, please answer the Blues’ call
NSW Blues Coach Phil Gould celebrates a try. AAP Image/Action Photographics/Colin Whelan
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The New South Wales Rugby League has a big decision to make. Who is the man to take control of our “almosts” and return us to our rightful position of Origin dominance?
Forget dominance, I’d settle for a one point win. There are very few outstanding candidates and many average ones, nevertheless a decision must be made lest our momentum be lost. Here is the situation as I see it.
Fittler, Barrett and Daley have all been mentioned as the favourites having been involved with Origin as players and assistant coaches now for a fair while. The NSWRL have made it clear that the new coach must not be someone from “clubland”.
I always thought the best way to gauge the worth of a head coach, as a starting point at least, is to look whether he is gainfully employed as a head coach.
Evidently not. The understanding in rugby league now is that club coaches simply cannot do both.
I think we need to be careful here. The Maroons have had phenomenal success under Mal Meninga. And sure he didn’t have a club job at the time. But is that why they won? Almost certainly not.
Indeed If I had to name one rugby league side in history that I reckon could coach itself, I’d say it is the current Maroons side. You then throw two years of Ricky Stuart-led losses on top of that and you have your rationale for excluding club coaches.
It it appears the NSWRL will not budge on this, so we have to live with it and have to find someone. Well, no, we don’t.
I think we all know who needs to step in and it’s not Fittler, Barrett or Daley. It’s Gould.
Gus is often asked about whether he will coach again. Sometimes he mutters darkly “not in this lifetime” and sometimes he blurts out things like “I’m a coach, coaching is what I do”.
Anyone that can get a firm position out of that is a far smarter man than I.
Craig Fitzgibbon (god bless him) recently suggested that Fittler, Barrett and Daley should share the job, with Gus as a special adviser.
To Craig I say this: do you want to be the man to tell him that Fittler is in charge and that he needs to sit down?
This is a man who invented his own job at Penrith which hovers somewhere between Club GM and Mayor.
No sir, this man will not be bumped to the periphery. If Gus is to be involved, and he absolutely must be, it must be on centre stage.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think he is our only option.
The only man with the gravitas, profile and CV. The only candidate who doesn’t have a club job because he doesn’t want one.
To many people in NSW, Gus Gould is Origin.
He brings a real sense of greater purpose to our side and my god he’d have some war stories for the boys.
They say cometh the hour, cometh the man. I only include that because I know Gus loves quotes, another one of his great strengths.
Come on Gus, consider it a personal favour to Sticky. One final chapter in your vast Origin legend.
If you are reading this big man, it’s time to stand up. NSW needs you.
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