The West Tigers are a club with potential but produce an absurd amount of disappointment.
To some, it appears the history of Balmain and Western Suburbs still intrudes on the cohesion of the single entity, yet, to others, this is not the case. Whatever the verdict on this matter, the club is continually in the media for ridiculous reasons.
The documentary that screened on Foxtel was a good idea. It allowed fans of sport an insight into the NRL. This initiative should be applauded. The more insight the fans are allowed into clubland, the better.
While the documentary was entertaining, it did capture the sorry season suffered by the toothless tigers. What is more, it led to a postseason meltdown at the boardroom level regarding Michael Maguire’s future, and there seemed to be more questions than answers.
Although that matter has since been resolved, the way the issue was concluded was nothing short of amateurish.
To add to the ludicrous nature of the end of the season, the club reveals a new logo. I wonder, did the club do this in consultation with its members? Did they bring their fans along for the ride and include them in the process?
It felt a little unnecessary, and in actuality, very little was changed. Okay, the claws were removed, and the face was altered, but when social media asks how much did that change cost? You have to wonder about the answer.
A new logo for a new era.
Welcome to Wests Tigers. ???? pic.twitter.com/AEXNmOUoee
— Wests Tigers (@WestsTigers) October 6, 2021
It is a matter of preference whether one likes the new modified emblem or not, but what can not be in dispute is that there would have been many tiger fans who would have loved the opportunity to present the club with a new design.
More to the point, by including fans in the process, the club would have engaged with their fans. The result of which makes the fans feel more connected with the club. That association can only be positive.
Still, if the coaching issue, the new emblem did not create enough negative headlines, then announcing Luke Brooks as the club’s player of the year over Adam Doueihi has only caused mocking from other fans, shock and dismay from tiger fans and possible disharmony within the playing ranks. I still think it is a media gee-up. Granted, the matter is most likely a storm in a teacup, but it can’t be claimed to be good news.
Not is all lost yet for the fans. There seems to be some movement that should at least assist the club off the field – on the field may take some more time. The centre of excellence at Concord will provide the club with a state of art base. Also, the merger of Group 6 and the Macarthur region centralises the clubs junior pathways.
Yet, I can’t fathom why the club isn’t hauling its way to the South West, setting up shop, housing their centre of excellence in the Campbelltown area and owning that region. This process should have happened in 2000. The longer the delay, the longer it will take for the Wests Tigers to cement its foundations.
In essence, for many years, other NRL clubs have been entering the southwest and snooping up talent at will. For the tigers to be successful on the field, the talent drain needs to stop. The club needs to be a development club, signing outside talent only to fill shortfalls in their supply.
Much can be said of the tiger’s administration structure, but maybe it is not the structure rather than the people in that structure that need to be held to account.
In any case, I wonder, if tiger fans reading this had a magic wand and became stupid rich and could step in to solve some of the problems facing the club – what changes would you make (apart from signing the Australian side)?
Ultimately, not only do the Wests Tigers have the potential to be a strong club, they have the potential to be a powerhouse, but right now, the club continually disappoints their fans.