Warriors confirm Elliott as head coach

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 10:11 12/10/2012
DANIEL GALVIN/Fairfax NZ

Matthew Elliott has been named as the new head coach of the NZ Warriors.

Matthew Elliott
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BIG TASK: Matthew Elliott has signed a two-year contract to take over as head coach at the Warriors.

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New Warriors coach Matt Elliott "blew the socks" off club chairman Bill Wavish with his vision for New Zealand's NRL franchise.

Elliott was today confirmed as the Warriors coach on a two-year contract.

That contract was signed on Tuesday after a lengthy interview process where Elliott was "the standout" candidate.
He had two two-hour interviews and a two-hour lunch with club owner Owen Glenn.

He clearly more than impressed his would-be employers.

"Matt's presentations were of the highest calibre. His vision blew the socks off our chairman Bill Wavish," Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah said.

Elliott, who has coached 243 NRL games as head coach of Canberra and Penrith and was this year an assistant at the Roosters, said his plan complemented the thinking of the ambitious club where Glenn has made no secret of using his funding to lift the Warriors to a new level.

The search for excellence saw this year's coach Brian McClennan sacked before the end of the season as tolerance ran out following a string of losses.

Now Elliott's experience and planning seems to have convinced the Warriors he's the man to take the boardroom's hopes to the playing field.

"This is an alignment of thinking," Elliott said.

"I've had a lot of experience at the highest level, but this is a unique opportunity from the top to the bottom. We're not just on the same page, we are on the same line. I'm ready to go.

"I'm over the moon, mate, massively excited. I have a real vision for what the Warriors are capable of doing. This is an opportunity to have sustained success over a long period ... there is a very deep talent pool here."

Scurrah said Elliott was effectively "CEO of football" involving all levels of the club.

Glenn admitted the Warriors had sought out Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy but he had made it clear he wouldn't break his current commitments.

Scurrah denied Elliott was a case of "the last man standing" in the prolonged search and said that throughout the process only one candidate had pulled out.

"We got the man who shone right throughout the process and we are comfortable we searched long and hard," Scurrah said.

But Elliott confirmed that he was the one who approached the Warriors rather than them scouting him out.

He did it because he saw a massive opportunity here with a club that wasn't just a one-city team but "basically a one-nation" club.

Elliott will start house hunting this weekend and is keen to get in front of the players "as soon as possible".
He already has a preseason training plan worked out.

There was no confirmation of who Elliott's assistants would be but he made it clear he would like to see current assistant coach Tony Iro stay involved.

He read little into the strong comments from the players, headed by Elijah Taylor, voicing their support for Iro.

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Elliott said he believed that was "a positive statement, showing a high level of trust and loyalty to staff" that he was eager to enhance.

Elliott is the fourth Australian to coach the club behind John Monie, Daniel Anderson and Ivan Cleary. He is their eight coach since 1995.

- Fairfax Media

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