Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cowboys Need To Get Their Mind On The Job

I hope to see Muzz in the winners circle soon (photo - Getty Images)

FINALLY the suspense has ended. This week the Cowboys ended all the speculation that has surrounded their vacant head coaching position at the end of this NRL season by announcing that they have hired Neil Henry.

And none too soon, if you ask me.

Maybe the issue can now be put to rest and the remainder of the season resurrected. Any player and/or coach that is worth his wage would be frustrated by the situation staring the Cowboys in the face over the past month.

Each shows (or hides) that emotion in a different way, but it has been painfully obvious that the uncertainty that has loomed over the head coaching role has taken its toll on the group. Now the players' minds should somewhat be put at rest as the script for the future begins to clear up.

Here's hoping the players have enough respect to give current coach Graeme Murray their full attention for the remainder of the year. I have never bought into the idea that Muzz would just show up and collect a pay cheque for the remainder of his time at the Cowboys.

He was tapped on the shoulder before the season began and knew exactly where and when this road ended. If you think someone that has composed himself so professionally throughout his time with the club wants to now abandon that professionalism and go out a loser, I don't think you understand the mind of a true competitor.

If he is anywhere near the competitor that I am, he would be going the extra yard to make sure his team wins. I would want the decision-makers to think twice about taking the option to let me go.
If for no other reason than a little thing called pride.

From a players' perspective, I think you will find that the poor performances have not resulted from lack of effort.

On the contrary, I think often what results from a situation such as this is that everyone is trying to fix the problem on an individual level because the team concept gets disrupted and unclear.
Unfortunately, this means that your team unit, on a play-by-play, game-by-game basis, is non-existent.

I think that is what we have been seeing from the Cowboys to date. I think now that there are some concrete plans about moving forward with the announcement of Henry as the coach, everyone will settle down and get on with playing footy.

The season is only three weeks old and all is not lost. Maybe we can look back in another three weeks' time and say that this was the week that kick' started the Cowboys', and maybe even Murray's, best season.

My article appears weekly in the Townsville Bulletin.

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