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NRL news | Michael Maguire says he’s looking forward to working with Tim Sheens

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire says he has no issues working with Tim Sheens, as the club looks to put the chaos of recent weeks behind them.

The Tigers yesterday confirmed Maguire would continue as coach in 2022, despite speculation he was to have been axed at a board meeting on Monday night.

Sheens, who guided the club to their only premiership, in 2005, has already been shifted from his role as head of football performance to take up a position as coaching director, overseeing Maguire, himself a premiership-winning coach.

In a statement issued today, Maguire said he’s looking forward to the 2022 season.

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“After all the speculation, I’m pleased to move forward with the Wests Tigers,” he said.

“A lot has been said publicly. I wish for this statement to put an end to the public period of examination and a return to the quiet work of crafting a winning team.

“I’m happy to keep working with every member of the organisation on our vision to turn around the fortunes of this proud club. My belief never wavered that in the fullness of time the club will be a rugby league force.”

Maguire, whose contract was extended last year through until the end of the 2023 season, has won just 26 of 68 matches since he joined the club at the start of 2019.

The club has missed the finals for the last 10 seasons.

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Initially lumbered with an uncompetitive roster, that excuse won’t wash moving forward, with Maguire having had three seasons to shape the squad to his liking.

“Our recruitment policy won’t deviate – we will look to bring players in that complement our team and salary cap position,” he said.

“We want players to join our club that have the passion to help the club return to its winnings ways, along with our juniors growing a stronger foundation. I’m looking forward to working with Tim to build a strong and sustainable roster.”

The club said yesterday it had also made a number of structural and procedural changes within the football department, in an effort to improve results, although the statement did not go into specifics.

“As a coach, self-improvement is always a path that I am hungry for. The game evolves, our competitors evolve, we need to take the squad to a higher level every day, because that’s what it takes to compete at a top 4 level all the time,” Maguire explained.

“You need to continually put yourself into that space to play and win a grand final. That’s what I’m focusing on.

“I’d like to thank everyone that’s given me support throughout this period. I’m looking forward to November 1, start of preseason, when I get all my players back along with some new faces. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy some quality time with my family, see you all in 6 weeks.”

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