COACHES' CORNER | Mat Head

For us at Illawarra, the onus is on the individual. We’ve all got a role to play.

Yes, Rugby League is a team sport, but as we’ve seen so many times in the game’s history, success wouldn’t be if not for everyone on that field doing their job.

Each day, we’re training and playing as if we’ve all got a job to do. That’s the way I coach my players. My job is to get these men playing to the best of their ability. 

I want to make them better as footballers, but also as young men. I want to see them achieve their goals.

I know we’re only two weeks in to start the season, but I’ve seen some quick progression in that area. Which, as a coach of a team with so much potential, is very pleasing to witness.

We didn’t have the best of starts to the year with our Round 1 loss to Penrith, but I thought we had an okay performance. Unfortunately, the scoreboard didn’t show that at the end.

By Round 2, we came together as a team, and quickly so. We knew our roles as individuals, and as a team, we got the job done. We’ve got to continue to build on that. Hopefully week-to-week, we continue to perform better as a unit.

Coaching the Dragons’ NYC team last year, a few of those boys have joined me in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition this season. It helps to have that connection. I know their story, I know their goals.

For me now, my goal is to get as many players at my level, playing NRL. I’ll get a big kick out of it if I can progress some players, even those that were in the 20s-system last year, up and into the top grade.

Stepping up from the NYC level myself, I’ve learned plenty over the off-season. I continue to learn much more, each day.

Working with the players, both those full and part-time, it’s a bit of a juggling act at times. But that’s the grounds that come with coaching in this competition. It’s a challenge, but not one that I shy away from.

The positive in all of that, is that we’re all buying into the culture.

We’re all working in the same direction that the club is heading. That excites me.

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Each week, a coach from the Intrust Super Premiership NSW will write exclusively for Coaches' Corner. For the latest on the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition, make www.NSWRL.com.au your homepage.