Kimmorley will make big impact at Wests
Mitch Jennings - Illawarra Mercury
THROUGHOUT his extraordinary 307-game NRL career new Wests coach Brett Kimmorley has always done things his own way.
It’s been no different since his arrival at Parrish Park the latest big name on an illustrious list of coaches, including Dragons coach Paul McGregor and now Melbourne Storm assistant Jason Ryles.
McGregor broke an 18-year drought for the Devils with three consecutive premierships between 2009 and 2011, while Ryles took them to a preliminary final and last year’s grand final in his two years at the helm.
Kimmorley has spent his post-retirement years at the Bulldogs, Raiders and Tigers but his new gig with Wests will be his first head coaching job.
Just like he did during his playing career, he’s promised to put his own spin on things.
“I’ll probably coach differently to how Mary coached and different to how Jason coached,” Kimmorley said.
‘‘I like to think we all have our own style and things we believe in and are passionate about.
‘‘I’ve been through a lot of different clubs now and I think the people skills of the club make the place very enjoyable and when you’ve got players willing to work hard and listen to you it makes your job very easy.
‘‘You like to think that you develop some trust and confidence in them with what your coaching and how your coaching and the rest is up to how far they’re willing to push and how hard they’re willing to fight for a first grade spot.’’
While most of the 2015 squad has returned, including key half Daniel Holdsworth, Kimmorley has added former Tigers and Sharks prop Bryce Gibbs and former Sharks and Manly half Jye Mullane.
His charges will have another chance to impress when the Devils take on Dapto in Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final double-header at Gibson Park and with several young-guns putting their hand up Kimmorley has promised a clean selection slate fro round one.
‘‘I’m not afraid of making some tough decisions,’’ Kimmorley said.
‘‘I think we’ve done quite a lot of things together as a club and we haven’t distanced the young kids from the senior players.
“It’s important that you don’t just look after who you think are your top players and forget about the kids on the way up.’’
Kimmorley is also no stranger to high expectations which are part and parcel of coaching one country football’s genuine heavyweights but said success in the 2016 season will be about hard work and not reputation.
‘‘All I can ask of the players is that they prepare ready for each game every weekend,” he said. “If we’re good enough to challenge for something we will. We don’t deserve to be there because of what’s happened in the past.’’