When Brian Smith started the clean out at the Newcastle Knights, with full backing of the Knights board – the initial heartbreak of casting some long term players off, was said to heal over time as the ‘new era’ of Knights are ushered in.
Even hardcore Knights supporters felt the club needed some form of clean-out and the general consensus was to stand behind the Knights board, Brian Smith and the new breed of players.
Here at NRL News we actually received an email from a Newcastle Knights player in the pre-season, stating that the club had a ‘great vibe about it in 2007’ – the arrival of Brian Smith as coach was applauded by the Knights player who said “Prior to Brian Smith coming, basically Andrew Johns ran the Knights not only on weekends but during the week as well!”
It seems that short term pain for long term gain is taking a lot longer than expected. Even the Newcastle Knights players in the future plans such as: Danny Buderus, Kurt Gidley and Steve Simpson have privately questioned the methods of the new coach Brian Smith.
The floodgates have opened not only on the field, but in terms of the outcry from the Newcastle Knights this week. Danny Buderus going public with the internal disharmony among players and Newcastle Knights football manager Steve Crowe tendering his resignation after nearly 20 years within the Newcastle Knights administration.
For all his experience, planning and attention to detail – it’s Brian Smiths personality that seems to be burning more bridges than planned. His old trait of keeping team lineups secret as long as possible is driving the players mad. The theory from Brian Smith is – keep the players hungry and keen to impress for first grade spots, however too much of this can take away the cohesiveness within a group of 17 players.
Constantly chopping and changing players on a weekly basis is a proven recipe for disaster. The ‘less’ players used – the more success by an NRL Club.
Sure, the Newcastle Knights and Brian Smith have had some large injury concerns and this has made the process a lot harder in 2007 – no one expected Andrew Johns to be retiring early into this NRL season and that in itself has had a huge impact on the club.
Brian Smith is without doubt one of the best coaches in the NRL, the team here at NRL News have big wraps on the guy. The only thing Brian should do, and we’ve mentioned it before – “Pick up a copy of the book; how to win friends and influence people” – once he’s read that and improved his personality, it will go along way to winning him an NRL title as well.