Phil Gould says Canterbury Bulldogs won’t ask Ben and Shane Walker to coach


Rugby league icon Phil Gould has thrown cold water on the idea of ​​two brothers from Queensland coaching an NRL team together.

For several years now, there has been a lot of noise about Ben and Shane Walker taking charge of a major league team, having enjoyed success as second-tier coaches.

They led Ipswich to a Queensland Cup title and reinvigorated the competition with a style focused on attacking and entertaining.

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Earlier this month, rugby league’s immortal Andrew Johns called on Canterbury to wave caution and appoint the brothers as head coaches, after Trent Barrett quit.

Benji Marshall has since called on the Warriors to do the same, after Nathan Brown vacated that seat. The Wests Tigers are also looking for a head coach.

But Gould – who will hire the new Bulldogs coach – does not even want to entertain this idea.

“My head doesn’t go there, I don’t think about it,” he told Wide World of Sports. Six tackles with Gus podcast.

“It’s nothing against the Walkers, I wish them all the best. It’s great as a fan to watch all of this.

“But if you’re running an organization and trying to portray yourself as a professional football club… my head just doesn’t go there.”

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The Walker brothers basically changed the game with the way they coached Ipswich.

The Jets have become an exciting team that threw football at will, conning the opposition with their fluid and chaotic style.

Those calling them into the NRL ranks hope they can bring the same flamboyance to the elite competition.

But Gould explained that the transition might not be as smooth.

“It’s different, it’s innovative. I think at this level it was something that hadn’t been seen before, at Queensland Cup level,” Gould said.

“As to whether or not an NRL club would take the gamble of introducing this type of system at their club…I think you would have to be brave enough to do it.

“We’re not just looking at the performance of the freshman team du jour, but how that influences the development of players who go through a system. There’s a proven method for that.

“For my part, as a coach, I tried to be as innovative as possible. I didn’t want to follow, I didn’t want to copy what other teams were doing. I thought that if we copied people, we would always run second, we would never be the leader.

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“But at the same time, thanks to proven philosophies and methods that have stood the test of time, Walker’s situation would be a gamble.

“It would be a gamble to introduce them to a playgroup that probably developed in the traditional way.

“And as to whether or not you could run a development system based on their concepts and beliefs, I think that would be a major turnaround.

“It’s easy for people like Benji Marshall to say it would be exciting to watch – and it would be exciting to watch – but as to whether this is how you want to present your football club and business in the long run, it would have to be a major bet for a club to go down this path.”

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