I know Smithy personally and I think this appointment is the best thing the club have done since taking a punt on a untried Daniel Anderson all those years back. But for completely opposite reasons. As a few on here have already noted, Smithy is one of only a few Aussie coaches with the longstanding credentials to credibly do a job like this. He's innovative, he's prickly, he's passionate about rugby league and he's a player's coach, which may prove a valuable contrast to the more aloof approach of Kearney
. What's more, he's been wanting to get involved at the Warriors for some time. He genuinely believes he can fix many of the crippling issues at the club.
Yes, he can
get offside with players, officials, and fans. His history at the Saints, Eels and Knights would allude to that. But generally clubs get a solid 3 years or so out of him before his brusque demeanor wears thin. If that be the case at the Warriors, then hopefully that's enough time to turn this mess around.
There are other positives around his appointment, too.
** He will help attract Aussies across the ditch; something much needed at this club, which is looking worryingly bare on that front for 2018.
** He thinks outside of the square and has generally imbued his clubs with an attacking mindset. Just look at that Parra team of 2001, or some of the lethal Saints teams of the early 90s. Hopefully that approach will filter down the chain.
** He won't put up with ANY bullshit ... from anyone. Speak to him for more than 5 minutes, you'll quickly learn that for yourself. The players will get reprimanded if they don't put in, and those that continue to slack will get punted. It's that simple.
** He understands what's required to build a successful club and he will do whatever it takes to get it there.
** He also developed coaches in his time at various clubs too, one in particular we are familar with and whose style is very reminiscent of Smith's would be Daniel Anderson.
All that said, it will be interesting to see how the dynamic between him and Kearney
plays out. They seem polar opposites in terms of personalities and Smithy is very
opinionated. How will they mesh for the betterment of the club?
And will Smithy adopt some of his more problematic practices from previous clubs, which allegedly caused friction with some of his star players? (incessant texting was one of them, apparently)
Time will tell. But for now, between him and Corvo, I'm already feeling more bullish about 2018 than I was only a week or so back.