It took a while to be confirmed in the end but Wests Tigers will have something to cheer about with Ivan Cleary named as the club’s new coach until the end of the 2020 season.
Previously coach of the New Zealand Warriors and Penrith Panthers and in charge of 252 games at both clubs over that time, he was immediately welcomed by Tigers Chair, Marina Go.
“On behalf of the Wests Tigers Board I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Ivan to Wests Tigers,” said Go.
“We look forward to him building a strong relationship with our players and staff and working with them long into the future.”
The process was a thorough one undertaken by the Tigers but they are pleased to have the man they think can guide them towards potential success.
“In appointing Ivan as Head Coach, we as a Club have worked through a thorough process and are thrilled to be making this announcement today,” she said.
“Throughout this process, Ivan was incredibly impressive with his vision for this Club and where it can go both on and off the field.”
Equally pleased was club CEO Justin Pascoe, who says he looks forward to working with Cleary over the next few years.
“In all of my dealings with Ivan he’s shown himself to be an incredibly professional individual with a real passion for the game,” he said. “He brings to this Club a wealth of experience which we believe will be very beneficial for our playing group.
“He brings to this Club a wealth of experience which we believe will be very beneficial for our playing group.
“We have a group of players who are ready to take the next step in their playing careers and as a club, we’re confident that Ivan is the man to lead them.”
Although on the slide at present, Cleary is looking forward to getting stuck into the role and helping the club to buck the trend they are currently on.
“This is a great opportunity to join a Club with a lot of potential,” said Cleary. “I look forward to getting to work with the playing group and coaching staff.
“I look forward to getting to work with the playing group and coaching staff.
For Cleary, the key is to find out ways to improve the club’s play and get to know the system, the players and the best way to play.
“The Wests Tigers are a huge brand with a strong Membership base and a lot of supporters and I look forward to getting stuck in over the coming weeks,” he said.
“Day one is today and from here we start working on improving, we’ll do a lot of exploring and analysis on how things work at Wests Tigers and how the people within the Club work. We need to decide as a group what we want to be and go about achieving this.
With a chance to take the Wests Tigers to another level, Cleary is ready for the fresh start ahead of him.
“I can’t wait to get to work here,” he said.
“It’s no secret that I’ve missed it, this is a fresh start for me and I’m committed to seeing this Club reach its potential and to be the success that I know it can be.”