Craig Gower – the next master-coach?

He has won a grand final, and now, as he nears the end of his career, former Panther Craig Gower is after a deal that will see him finish up as a coach for the remainder of his career.

The plan for Gower is to either take up offers to re-join the NRL, or to stay in Italy with Treviso, which would enable him to represent Italy at the World Cup.

As it looks more and more likely that Sandow is going to part ways with Souths, the club have been looking at their options, and Gower’s name has appeared as a potential candidate.

Despite holding initial talks to see where things would go, Gower’s manager, Craig Willett, said that he has received no further calls regarding his client from Souths Chief Executive, Shane Richardson.

With more money available in Italy, and Gower being fully aware of that, the view of his, is that he can play for an NRL club in 2012, before making a transition into the coaching foray, with the same club.

“There is a lot to weigh up for Craig,” Willett said.

“Everyone knows the player Craig is – he is a smart footballer who is a tough competitor and would be a natural as coach.

“He has brains and the tactics and has matured as a person. Coaching appeals to Craig. I think Penrith are keen to get him into their coaching system. He may play NRL for less money but hopefully it would lead to a coaching job.”

With the rumour that Gower is indeed headed to Souths, despite no official deal worked out, as of yet, several Bunnies players had their say on the matter.

“He’s the ultimate competitor. He’s the biggest asset for any club,” said Rabbitohs prop Ben Ross.

“Any club who gets him, he will be the ultimate asset. He’s got the will-to-win and the drive.

“I’d love for anyone to have him and see him back in the NRL. It would be a great thing for the NRL. If we were to get him he’d be adding to our depth.”

Souths Captain Roy Asotasi however, said that his side have more important things to focus on, and that is their match with the Cronulla Sharks this week.

“There’s speculation about Craig Gower coming to the club next year but I don’t know anything … all I know is that we’ve got a game against the Sharks [tomorrow night] and Craig Gower won’t be there,” he said.

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