New Coach - Northland



  • So as the rumour mill has been saying, Whitcombe has resigned, not sure on the status of Konia, but assume he has resigned as well or he is being 'invited' to apply for his role (or head) again as NRU are seeking applications for both Head & Assistant.

    Have heard rumours about preferred candidates, but in that, there is a distinct lack of experience in those names at this level...maybe bring Woodward back as a mentor, technical type coach?

    Northland have gone back to him a few times, and usually have a positive impact on things when he is involved.

    http://www.taniwha.co.nz/newsarticle/84273?newsfeedId=940792



  • @taniwharugby said in New Coach - Northland:

    Have heard rumours about preferred candidates, but in that, there is a distinct lack of experience in those names at this level

    Unfortunately I don't think it's an attractive job to anyone that does have experience

    Which old players are involved in the club rugby? Do guys like Gus or Holwell do any coaching?



  • @Duluth Holwell has been involved in coaching the Mid Northern seniors over the years, although last year he and Jason Hammond were coaching the Mid Northern U14s...easily the best drilled team in the comp, but U14s...

    Tony Monaghan is another who I have had a bit to do with and would do well, he has coached through most levels upto seniors I believe (has 4 boys who have all played for Kamo and a couple of them in age group teams) but he seems keener on the 7s, although missed out to a nobody last year and was then asked to help the coach they appointed.

    Gus was involved with Kamo seniors a couple of seasons ago.

    These guys have an air about them, kids and adults seem to respond well to them when they are coaching/instructing/talking...I'd love to get these guys involved, but given thier lack of experience, you'd need someone else at the helm, which is where I think Woodward could help.

    Cam Goodhue worked with Derren & George this season, and he is rated, but I have heard he is off to coach in SA for a season, but again, he is green too.

    So not sure where they are going, Konia likely has inside running if no quality coaches put thier hands up, which is worrying given our back play this year.



  • @taniwharugby I was hoping Cam Goodhue would be involved. Some merit in Konia continuing but decision makers need to know why he persisted with midfield that didn't work



  • Bring Adrian Ferris home, he has unfinished business.



  • @SmokeyT that's a no from me.

    He was the peak of importing shitty nobodies just to play NPC.

    Welcome though 😎



  • @taniwharugby
    Had a good couple of weeks to think about this and gather some information in and around the appointment..
    There’s been several applications from the info gathered.

    George Konia ( Northland Assistant coach 2018/2019)
    Cam Goodhue (Kamo Coach ) Northland title 2018
    Former Northland no 8
    Graham Dewes (Waipu Coach) Northland title 2019
    Former Fijian international tighthead prop

    Brent Simmonds (former North Harbour hooker who has coached in and around Auckland scene ,Auckland U19,Colts & Development ,did a stint in Spain, unsure of the role, is now currently the Auckland academy coach)

    Grant Hensen (former Counties Manukau hooker and assistant coach of CM, not sure if he has been a head coach)

    Other possible candidates
    Former Northland Dev and Sevens coach Peter Nock

    Have also heard there’s been some interest expressed from coaches in South Africa.

    After being in George’s presence over the last couple of weeks ,and talking to others who know him well, it seems he has come right out of his shell..
    If you actually checked out his reputation as a coach in Japan, it’s not too bad ,and that’s as head coach..
    Chatting to George, he’s developed a real affinity to the area, and is very much about communication and given from what I understand this will only be a one year gig , I personally would like to see George stay on , hopefully assisted by Goodhue and Dewes..
    They would be my choices, both Cam and Graham would know much of the talent that’s coming through..Graham especially having coached the Dev team for the last 2 seasons ..

    I have heard that Tony Hanks (Blues HP manager )will be on the interview panel along with 2 technical coaches from the NZRFU: the rest made up as board members
    Hanks being on the panel does my head in, that in my opinion brings Simmons into the picture ..

    To bring in another coach from the outside will feel like Groundhog Day all over again, another coach from outside of Northland who will have no idea of the diversity of Northland in terms of what they are getting themselves into, it takes longer than one year to understand what your dealing with..
    Just the travel factor for one, the talent in the area is abundant, no question, even at the Counties Manukau 7s yesterday there were Northland kids running around for other unions..many of these kids have a story , if you can find out what makes them tick and find that common ground you are on the right track
    A high performance centre in Kaitaia is a big win for this union ,which will just cut the 4 hour round trip to Whangarei for many of our promising players in the far North..

    There’s already been some good wins with several signings for 2020 and hopefully a handful of promising youngsters returning home.



  • @SmokeyT said in New Coach - Northland:

    Bring Adrian Ferris home, he has unfinished business.

    Welcome SmokeyT.

    What a first post, you seem to know how this place works already...

    With a suggestion like that I can only assume you’re from Southland and are desperately looking for ways to get off the bottom of the ladder... 😉

    As such, can we get him banned please? Northland fans still suffer from PTSD after his couple of years in charge, so we don’t need below the belt jokes like that 😂😂😂

    I’d be in favour of the trio @Steven-Harris mentions above.



  • Sorry @Gunner wrong their mate, I am born and breed Taniwha who bleeds blue. I would suggest the PTSD is more to do with the undermining bullies of Jeremy Parkinson, Alistair McGin and Derrin Whitcomb.

    The successful programs we have running in Northland are largely due to the hand of Adrian.

    The three mentioned earlier have destroyed Northland Rugby and created nepotonistic structure that goes as high as the board.

    Northland Rugby for decades been an old boys club who have been happy to sit at the bar with a beer in one hand and wire strainers in the other happy with their small corner of the world. If we want to survive as a union we need leadership that can see the future and willingness to engage. I have had some good talks with @Steven-Harris over the years and agree.

    One thing is we will not get the coach we deserve if we are only giving the coach a one year contract.

    Employing the CEO after the appointment of the coach is also a mistake.



  • @SmokeyT the Southland comment was a light hearted joke... 🙂

    Wow, some scathing comments there about previous leadership, which I know nothing about so can't comment.

    One thing that Ferris did extremely well that you've forgotten to mention, was completely alienate the local rugby community by bringing in no-name Auckland (or anywhere but here) club players to fill the team, when there were locals who were good enough and deserved a crack.

    I think I speak for 99% of Northlanders when I say this, we want to support a Northland team, with players who are not necessarily born and bred, but have at least spilled some blood out on the field in our local club scene and earned their place.



  • @Gunner I personally think Parkinson did a great job getting Northlands finances back on track and back into the black, he made some tough decisions along the way, but these had to be made at the time - basically walked into the job with some figures that didnt seem to tie up with what he had been given prior.

    I also know him outside of his NRU job, and know he copped alot of criticism for osme of the stuff he did, but this is a guy who was never afraid to get out and about to clubs and watch alot of club footy, have a beer with locals, and while there copped a fair bit of abuse for some of the decisions he had to make, but took it on the chin

    I agree that McGinn appears to have done Jack-sh!t in his time at the helm, in fact, I feel somethings have gone backwards under his watch, I wouldnt even know him if I bumped into him in the street.

    I'll take @SmokeyT word on DW, aside from club rugby many years before he hit the big time, I have only met him briefly and found him fine.



  • @Gunner I think you will find that Adrian opposed the majority of those signings which the then CEO Jeremy made despite the head coach saying no, think selections of Argentinian players from youtube and Aucklanders from external recommendations despite coach protestations.

    Adrian's policy was if you don't play in club rugby Northland you were not eligible for selection. Jeremy as CEO had a different policy. This for me is the risk of employing Coach before CEO.

    Adrian had a real focus on the sub unions which is exactly what we needed and needed. No one is perfect by any means we all have things we need to work on.

    You need a cohesive working relationship not a fractured one working against each other and unnecessary power plays.

    Jeremy and Alistair were the two lest commercial and community-engaged/minded people I have ever seen lead an organisation. The bigotry and rudeness were staggering yet they were blind to see any of it or acknowledge it after the fact. Alistair's comments and work, in particular, made it very hard to be a Taniwha supporter.

    Northland deserves better, we should be a shining beacon of hope that puts northland on the global map. We represent the birthplace of a unified nation where a nation of two peoples was forged between Maori and European yet we only seem to acknowledge one side of it which seems typical of an ageing population terrified of change.

    If we activate this true deep history the union would never struggle for revenue again. We can build a brand that is known worldwide. Think Manchester United, Manchester City, Detroit Pistons, New York Nicks teams the latter have not performed strongly yet regularly lead the merchandise sales and are known worldwide.

    We use the name Taniwha but seem oblivious of how to activate or live up to what the name means or what the strength of the Kauri means. We live off the fumes of 275 years of history, not the thousand-year strength of culture and identity. The blue jersey is filled with pride and the lands and ocean we play for and on are filled with Mana we just need to act like it and take the time to remember who we are.

    Finally, Adrian is a proud Northland with deep whanau roots in the north.



  • @SmokeyT will have to agree to disagree then as that's not how I saw things play out.

    What I will agree on is the timing for appointments the CEO and new coach...Ferris was appointed prior to Parkinson, so while you would expect them both to have the same goals in mind, the path to get there also needs to align, and them not both involved in the process at the start can put a hurdle at the start.

    I disagree whole heartedly on your point t about Jeremy on the commercial and community side, knowing some of the stuff he did there, you are off base.



  • @taniwharugby have you seen the books? I disagree wholeheartedly he was a disaster you have to remember he employed Alistair as commercial manager. For the team that sells more merchandise than any other, we have zero to show for it. Jeremy and Alistair left hundreds of thousands of dollars of sponsorship money on the table. I know personally of two sponsors/funders who walked both due to unsavoury comments about community and dismissiveness with complaints made to board chair on one of those occasions.

    The Taniwha website itself shows how uncommercial both where to try to buy merchandise or anything is like looking for a needle in a haystack. You literally had to go to the union office to buy anything. Rugby is much more than the four-month playing window and much more than what happens on the field.

    If either was any good commercially, the development team would not have had to pay to play and we would be far more financially sound than we are not running around cap in hand to build training facilities on Pohi Island spouting a false story of multi-sport that is not true as soon as you scratch the surface.

    We are in exactly the same place we were 4 years ago, a dream with no actionable's to show for it. Jeremy did heaps in Kamo where his kids played and nothing past there a small example is the union banned Whangaruru rather than using the game to transform the community. Knee jerk reactions made out of fear not informed by how to build community and harness talent. You only have to look at how many Northlanders slip though the Taniwha's grasp and end up playing in the NRL and around the world to realise the union is not reaching its targets.

    Rugby is meant to be a game for everyone not your elite farming and boarding school types.

    If we don't do something soon who knows where we will end up. You only have to look at the circumstances of the last head coaches behaviour throughout the season and at seasons close to knowing something has to change and fast. None of this behaviour was pulled up by the board or CEO. It was let slide and we endured a season from hell. Whoa be told the Taniwha and Warriors supporter in 2019. Here is hoping 2020 is better.



  • @SmokeyT well we form our own opinions based on what we see/hear/experience, I'm comfortable with mine, similarly you with yours.

    As I said originally, welcome aboard, always good to have another Taniwha fan here.



  • @taniwharugby thanks mate agree to disagree, been around a while just not active on this platform very often, was reminded of it earlier this week by a mate. Here is hoping 2020 is happier for us as Northland supporters.



  • @SmokeyT shit we had a quiet season but the off season is a beauty. Thanks for injecting yourself into the debate. Hard to tell when you live in Auckland and don’t travel as much as Steven what happens so good to hear lots of views. Something has to change. We now have the best talent we have had for years and more on its way. Some one needs to wrap it up and create a team that wins, and a culture that survives a season. Tired of one season players coming and going (both imported and local). The only coach that achieved that in recent times was Bryce Woodward - twice.



  • HAs been announced that Konia will take over the top job with Graham Dewes as assistant.

    I was pretty critical of our back play this year, that I expect Konia was in charge of, however some of the off-field issues I had heard the team had, I can cut him a bit of slack, so be interesting to see what he can bring next season...guess he is starting from a low point.

    Screen shot from Advocate article.

    91fcd5af-6a76-4d58-86c9-40f4791d5dc1-image.png



  • Yes a low point. If you add our 7s disaster this year then we have some wide ranging issues around performance.


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