Andrew McFadden’s old-school style has brought the Warriors some rewards.
Now it’s brought him a long-term contract.
Brought in as acting head coach following Matthew Elliott’s resignation early last month, McFadden’s Warriors have followed two hard-fought losses with impressive wins against Melbourne and Canberra.
The performances were enough for the club to sign McFadden, nicknamed Cappy, as head coach until the end of 2017.
McFadden’s players say he has been a hard taskmaster, but it’s something second rower Ben Matulino says they’ve needed.
“There’s no beating around the bush when it comes to decisions or if you do something wrong, he’s just a straight shooter. For myself that’s how you get the best out of me,” Matulino said.
“If you ask most of the boys everyone’s pretty scared to make a mistake on the field, because Cappy’s going to pound you on video. It’s good, knowing that he’s going to put some pressure on us and there’s always guys coming through and he’s not afraid to give you the chop.”
Konrad Hurrell, dropped after some defensive lapses but now playing well, agrees McFadden deserves the job.
“I think he’s just been a lot harder on myself, pushing me harder on the day off, trying to push me to do extra training and trying to improve my mental toughness,” he said.
“Obviously it helped me a lot. I need to stay focused from now on and keep improving. I’m not a little kid anymore that needs a pat on the back.”
Among those to have flourished since McFadden took over is fullback Sam Tomkins, who struggled at first after joining the team from Wigan.
“He’s been neatening up the little one percenters that we weren’t quite getting right. He’s come down on those, and there’s a little bit more discipline in the way that we train,” Tomkins said.
“I think intensity’s picked up a little bit, and I think on the field we’re a little bit more of a complete team.”
McFadden said he’d made a point of demanding more of his players, and trying to bring out the best in them.
“I’ve just stepped back and had a look at that and identified areas where we can improve, and intensity was a huge one. Unless you train intensely, you won’t get it on the field,” he said.
“I’m trying to give them the environment where they can play their best footy.”