Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Speculation over New South Wales State of Origin head coach Brad Fittler’s future was brought to the forefront last month with rumours that he had displayed interest in the Parramatta Eels coaching job.
While there is no word on whether or not that’s true, Fittler has recently opened up about a potential return to NRL coaching on a recent edition of “Freddy and the Eighth” and has singled out one club in particular that he claims he “wouldn’t write off” taking on the head coaching role for.
“I wouldn’t write off anything, but I’ve got to say I love working for Channel Nine and I love coaching State of Origin and working for New South Wales Rugby League,” Fittler said.
“They’re two dream jobs. They seem to marry well with each other.
“You’ve got to take me kicking and screaming. If there were a couple of clubs that are in really good positions at the moment, I think the Wests Tigers are one of them.
“I grew up out of Ashcroft, which is in amongst the Campbelltown area and the Campbelltown competition.
“When I grew up, within five kilometres there were anything up to 10 clubs within five kilometres. There is now none.
“The people haven’t gone away, they just seem to have stopped putting effort into those areas.”
Fittler would go on to talk about the club’s lack of investment in the Macarthur region, something he would undoubtedly strive to fix if he was to be involved with the Wests Tigers.
“If you look at Macarthur, going down towards Canberra, that has the highest growth population in Australia,” Fittler said.
“They’re building more houses out there than anywhere in Australia. It’s been totally neglected.
“They throw a couple of games out at Campbelltown.
“How are you not throwing a new stadium out at Macarthur? Using that huge area near Campbelltown Sports Ground, right on a train station. I don’t get it.
“They have a wonderful facility in Concord where they can train out of. They can have a couple of games at Leichhardt.
“But that (Macarthur) has to be your home. If you want to start building within, that has to be your home.
“You have St Gregory’s (College) up the road which is a wonderful school and has punched out so many great NRL players. It’s a no brainer for me.”
It seems Fittler’s ambition for the Tigers goes far beyond just coaching the football side.
The 49-year-old does have NRL coaching experience, albeit that was 12 years ago.
Brad Fittler was appointed the interim head coach of the Sydney Roosters in mid-2007 before taking on the job full-time in 2008 and leading the tri colours to their first finals series since they played in the 2004 Grand Final.