The process took longer than many would have liked, and whilst there are conflicting opinions on whether he is the right man for the job – former Penrith Panthers, Canberra Raiders and English Super League coach Matthew Elliott, has been named coach of the New Zealand Warriors for 2 seasons.
Elliott, who is the eighth coach of the club since their inception into the competition in 1995, will assume the role immediately – with Warriors Chief Executive Wayne Scurrah excited to have Elliott on board as the club’s coach.
â€œWeâ€™re thrilled to secure a coach of Matthewâ€™s calibre,â€ said Scurrah.
â€œHeâ€™s had wide experience and success with a number of clubs, initially making his mark winning titles with Bradford in the English Super League and also taking Canberra and Penrith to the NRL finals a total of five times.
â€œWhile we have spoken to a number of contenders, Matthew consistently impressed us every time we met him, with his total vision of how our football programme should be structured and run.
â€œThrough his long association with the game as a player and especially as a coach, he appreciates as much as anyone just whatâ€™s required to achieve the standards we are striving for.
â€œThis is a tremendous opportunity for Matthew as head coach to shape our football department to enable us to become a consistent threat in the NRL. Our ultimate goal will always be to win premierships and, in Matthew, we have secured a coach not only capable of achieving this, but also with the skills and vision to build a stronger total football club.â€
Co-owner of the club Owen Glenn, had just as many positive things to say about the appointment of Elliott as coach.
â€œIn my interview with Matthew, I was immensely impressed by the clarity of his vision for the Vodafone Warriors in the years to come. Having personally made the commitment to add substantial resources to the club, I came away very confident that he will have a hugely positive impact on our team,” said Glenn.
The Warriors second co-owner Eric Watson, was also pleased to have secured the services of Elliott as coach.
â€œMatthew has coached at the highest levels in both Australia and here in England and he is held in the highest regard. Iâ€™m convinced he will not only significantly improve all aspects of our performance, assisted by us providing better training resources, but he will also attract more top-level experienced people to join him,” said Watson.
For Elliott himself, it is a new role and a new challenge that is he looking forward to.
â€œIâ€™m elated to take up this role with the Vodafone Warriors,â€ he said.
â€œThis is not just a job. Itâ€™s a unique opportunity to harness a big organisation with the potential to deliver sustained success.
â€œIn my meetings with Eric, Owen, Bill, Wayne and Dean, I could not help but be enthused with their determination and vision to unlock that potential and the player talent available to the club.
â€œIâ€™m also hugely encouraged by the commitment the management, board and owners have made to resourcing and supporting the football operation to the highest level possible.
â€œThis is a massive opportunity for us all and I canâ€™t wait to get on with it.â€