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Opinion

Dragons sign boom youngsters, next for someone to coach them

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25th August, 2020
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Boom youngsters Matt and Max Feagai have both further extended their contracts with St George Illawarra to the end of 2022 and been promoted to the top 30.

I’m generally pretty critical of list manager Ian Millward, but he’s done a good job locking up the current crop of elite juniors – as well as the Feagai boys, Jayden Sullivan, Adam Clune and Cody Ramsey are all tied up for the next few years.

After an entertaining game last week against the Broncos and a confidence-building first-up win for Dean Young, I saw a spark of extra enthusiasm, as evidenced by the deep kick-chase at the end of the game that secured the win. Even Corey Norman played well.

With a match against the improving Titans this week, our forward pack will be tested again with both Paul Vaughan (suspension) and Korbin Sims (injury) unavailable, but Jackson Ford makes a timely return to the bench along with Billy Brittian.

Another win will get the true believers on the finals calculator.

Jacob Host looked the goods on the left edge against Brisbane – perhaps he’s found a position where he can get some consistent game time rather than moving around the pack.

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Players need stability and clearly defined roles, which was one of Paul McGregor’s weaknesses, as his players were constantly moving around. Host suffered more than most under McGregor. Come on Millward! News of Host’s contract extension can’t be far away? He’s off contract this year!

Ben Hunt has said he’d prefer an experienced coach over Dean Young. Interesting time to make those comments, he’s clearly looking for a path back to the 7 jersey and is not shy saying so. Hunt has another three years to go on his deal, so getting him to buy into the style of game we play under our new coach is going to be key.

The head coaching role at the Dragons is appealing, with the fundamentals of a good team already in place, and even with Hunt and Norman, there’s still plenty of room in the cap for 2021.

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There’s an excellent ‘farm’ system in place, with exciting juniors coming through every year, great training facilities in Wollongong and a great lifestyle to attract signings.

Plus, of course, a loyal and passionate fan-base.

My first preference is Anthony Griffin on a three-year deal with an option in the club’s favour for another two years, but the more I see of Dean Young, the more impressive he looks.

Whether this is his time or not, I’m sure he’ll be a great coach one day.