After a forgettable season, it seems that the Warriors might be about to sign a coach with some credentials; Stuff reports:
The Warriors' chances of landing an NRL "super coach" have dramatically increased, with revelations that the club could have their preferred coaching choice installed at Mt Smart Stadium as early as next year.
With the cash-rich Roosters signing rookie coach Trent Robinson to a three-year deal on Friday, the Warriors are now positioned as the only club in the market for the Storm's Craig Bellamy, and the Tigers' Tim Sheens.
Sydney newspaper the Sun-Herald reports today that over recent days a A$4 million (NZ$5.1m) bid for Bellamy's services was tabled for a three-year stint at Mt Smart.
It is not known whether that figure included a buy-out of the final year of Bellamy's contract with the Storm, which is due to run out at the end of next season.
Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah declined to comment on the possible contract offer for the man to replace the sacked Brian McClennan.
He also poured cold water on rumours that Bellamy's agent, John Fordham, had visited Auckland for a meeting with club bosses.
But with Scurrah, recruitment boss Dean Bell and club chairman Bill Wavish in Sydney last week, and reportedly talking to coaching candidates and their representatives, there is every chance a meeting with Fordham occurred there.
Bellamy is regarded as one of the NRL's top coaches. He has built a formidable record at the Storm, and earned a reputation as a tough, uncompromising leader.
But the possibility of hiring Sheens, who is also the Kangaroos coach, is emerging as potential leverage for the Warriors.
Despite re-signing with the Tigers for three years in 2011, Sheens, who won a Premiership with the club in 2005, is understood to be unhappy at the Tigers, after surviving an alleged boardroom coup during this year.
The Sun-Herald reports today that during the season the Tigers board tried to sign Ricky Stuart, now coaching the Eels, and would welcome a buy-out of the last two years of Sheens' contract.
And guess who will foot the bill if Tim Sheens is to be the club's choice; read on:
Warriors co-owner Owen Glenn is understood to be willing to provide big money to land the top coaching talent, and a potential contract buy-out for either Bellamy or Sheens has to be possible.
Sheens fits the bill of "super-coach" having won three titles with the Raiders in 1989, 1990 and 1994, and his Tigers Premiership.
The Kangaroos coach is well-liked and respected by players at the Tigers, with Kiwis skipper and Tigers playmaker Benji Marshall defending Sheens in his weekly column in the Sunday News today, imploring his board to keep him at the club.
Either Craig Bellamy or Tim Sheens would be a welcome addition to the Warriors. Both would come with a far better pedigree than Stephen Kearney or any of the other alternatives currently being touted.