Ivan Cleary has been replaced by Michael Maguire, after returning to Penrith.
Ivan Cleary has been replaced by Michael Maguire, after returning to Penrith.

Tigers CEO’s parting shot at Cleary

TIGERS CEO Justin Pascoe has offered a subtle parting shot at outgoing coach Ivan Cleary, before praising the appointment of Michael Maguire.

The New Zealand coach will take over from Cleary who has returned to Penrith on a mega deal that cut short his Tigers contract by two seasons.

Pascoe opened up on the reasons for signing Maguire, with his grand final winning pedigree right at the top of the list.

"When we started this process of looking through the options around the situation we were put in 12 or 14 weeks ago, we were committed to the fact that we wanted a coach with grand final winning experience," Pascoe said.

"We wanted a coach with a fierce determination to win and Michael has certainly demonstrated that.

"He's got a real passion to make sure this is a sustainable club for the long term. He's got a passion and care for individual players and for pathways and development in our local region.

"So he was a very suitable candidate and a great announcement."

The Tigers will now enter preseason with a coach fully committed to the long-term success of the club.

Pascoe remained determined throughout the process to find an outcome that would best serve the club and its fans.


Michael Maguire will link up with the club on November 15.
Michael Maguire will link up with the club on November 15.

"This has been a situation that was complex from the beginning and we wanted a favourable outcome," Pascoe said.

"My sole responsibility is to our fans, our players, our stakeholders and staff, that the club was put first.

"It has been a challenging 12 weeks because when you are trying to exit one coach and acquire another one there is a lot of sensitivity to that."

Pascoe was delighted with the interest in the head coaching position and was quick to point out that while Maguire was the best candidate he was not alone.

"It is exciting that we have had 10 to 12 people with a genuine interest in coming to coach this club," Pascoe said.

"It is a credit to everyone involved and the players, that the way they play and the standards they have set themselves are a real attraction to people that want to come here and coach."

However, after meeting with Maguire, Pascoe believes there is no better man to coach the side over the next three seasons.

Maguire is currently in the UK coaching the Kiwis in a three Test series against England, but will return after the tour to continue preseason training with the players.

"Michael will join the club on the 15th after his commitments with the New Zealand team finish in the UK," Pascoe said.

"I think he is going to be outstanding and all the players and staff are excited that he is coming to the club.

"The passion that he showed us is just a fierce determination to win and that's what this club needs."