Plenty of support for Elliott
Saturday 13 October 2012 4:29 PM
Matt Elliott’s appointment as the Vodafone Warriors’ new head coach has attracted widespread support from players he has previously coached.
Elliott spent four seasons with the Bradford Bulls in the English Super League from 1997-2000, capturing the Super League championship in his first season and the Challenge Cup in 2000.
The Bulls were Super League minor premiers in 1999 and lost the grand final that season while they were beaten in the 1997 Challenge Cup final.
During his term he had Robbie Paul as his captain with older brother Henry joining the club from Wigan from 1999.
Henry Paul was on Twitter soon after Elliott’s appointment, tweeting: “Congrats to Matt Elliott new NZ Warriors coach - Keep Calm and Carry On Warrior fans Matt has the plan to get back into the Finals he's Gold.”
In the New Zealand Herald today, Robbie Paul said of his experience with Elliott: "His man-management was absolutely brilliant. One thing I found with Matty was that he was always willing to try something new. But he was also very strict on sticking to what worked."
Another glowing endorsement was provided by former Canberra fullback Clinton Schifcofske, whose time with the Raiders spanned 2001-2006 (Elliott was co-coach with the Raiders in 2001 and head coach from 2002-2006). Schifcofske had previously played for South Queensland and went on to have a stint with Parramatta before playing rugby iunion and finishing his rugby league career in England.
On Twitter he said: “Matt Elliott will be a great appointment 4 the @NZ_Warriors best coach I had in 16 years. Hopefully the players r pro's & buy into his style.”
In another tweet he said: “@NZ_Warriors fair to say with respect our squad at the Raiders had half the talent & ability of the current @NZ_Warriors squad.”
North Queensland back rower Gavin Cooper played under Elliott at Penrith in 2009-2010 (Elliott coached the Panthers from 2007-2011).
He said Elliott did a great job with players of the ilk of Kiwi back rower Frank Pritchard, now with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
“He learnt the style of play that he wanted to enforce on the team and he knew when he could and could not throw the ball around. I think if everybody gets on board, the Warriors have definitely got a good side that can give the comp a shake,” said Cooper.