Endacott calls for stability, more Kiwi influence

TONY SMITH
Last updated 05:00 08/04/2014
Frank Endacott
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax Media
Former Warriors coach Frank Endacott.

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Former Kiwis and Warriors coach Frank Endacott has urged the Warriors' hierarchy to give a new head coach three years to make a mark and has called for a Kiwi to be appointed as his assistant.

Endacott, who coached the Warriors in 1997 and 1998, was not surprised at Matt Elliott's departure yesterday, saying someone had to pay the price for the club's wretched start to the season.

"Someone's head had to roll and it's always the coach's. It could have been a good time to send a message to some of the players, but you can't sack a whole lot of players during the season."

Andrew McFadden, an Australian-born former NRL player and the Warriors and Kiwis assistant-coach, will take over from Elliott for the rest of 2014.

Endacott said something had to happen after getting thrashed by the bottom team [the Cronulla Sharks] and with owners who put a lot of money into a club expecting results. But the Warriors' owners now needed to "provide some stability" by selecting a new head coach and giving him three years to prove himself, he said.

"They need to get someone and say 'you've got three years, you're not going to get the chop'. One year isn't long enough, nor is two years, you need three years."

Endacott said every coach needed time to develop a team and establish systems and the Warriors would need to show some patience. "If it doesn't work out after three years, then make a change then."

He is disappointed at the lack of a pathway for Kiwi coaches in New Zealand rugby league.

"When you bring in Australian assistant coaches for the national team and the Warriors, there's no pathway for Kiwi coaches. I find that disappointing.

"The Vulcans [the Warriors-aligned New South Wales Cup team] should be coached by a Kiwi, the Warriors under-20s should be coached by a Kiwi - and they are, Stacey [Jones] is there - and the first grade assistant-coach should be a Kiwi."

New Zealander Ricky Henry is on the Warriors' coaching staff but the Vulcans are coached by an Australian, Rohan Smith, son of former NRL and English Super League coach Brian Smith.

Endacott said there was an established coaching pathway when he rose through the ranks from the Canterbury provincial team, to Warriors' assistant then first grade coach and coach of the Kiwis from 1995 to 2000.

But he said there was no pathway now and promising coaches were giving the game away.

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Endacott said he always believed former Canterbury provincial coach and one-time Kiwis assistant-coach Phil Prescott "had the potential to go on and coach the Kiwis, but he was never given that opportunity".

"I'll use Phil Prescott as an example, you might as well give [a top coaching job] to someone like Phil. He's not going to do any worse and he's got a chance [of doing better than Australian coaches] because he's a Kiwi and understands the Kiwi player."

Endacott said the Warriors were paying for letting Ivan Cleary go to the Penrith Panthers after the 2011 season. "You can't live in the past, but they more or less forced him out at the time and they've paid for it ever since, and he's doing a great job at Penrith."

While Endacott felt a change was inevitable at the Warriors, he had some sympathy for Elliott, saying "you can't blame the coach" for the players' capitulation against the Cronulla Sharks.

- Fairfax Media

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