McManus: The Perfect Script

CHAIRMAN Eamonn McManus has given his thoughts ahead of Saturday’s Grand Final.

Writing in the Manchester Evening News:

And so it comes to pass that Nathan Brown’s final game as Head Coach of the Saints will be a Grand Final at Old Trafford against our oldest foe Wigan. The script couldn’t have been written better and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Nathan has done a grand job indeed in his two seasons at the Club and we all sincerely wish him and his family (and it’s a large one!) every luck and best wish in their new lives back home in Sydney.

He cast a much needed fresh eye on the squad when he arrived and took some brave and bold decisions both to de-age it and to rebalance it in his first season with us. The facts this season now speak for themselves, winning the league and getting to a Grand Final with a team shorn of its star players in key positions. More importantly he leaves us with a balanced, young, hungry and talented squad who will be competing for honours for many seasons to come.

However, our entire focus and energy is aimed at 6pm to 8pm on Saturday and the subject of a new head coach will be put entirely on the back burner until after the Grand Final when a short list of candidates will be considered and interviewed and an appointment made prior to our pre-season in November.

It is a record breaking tenth Grand Final appearance for the Saints and, incredibly, our captain Paul Wellens has played in them all. He has four wins and five runners up to date and is desperate to break even and then nudge ahead in October 2015. What a player and what a leader.

We are going into the game at Old Trafford on Saturday probably as the biggest underdogs since the advent of Super league, largely due to our injury toll. That does not concern any of us in the very slightest – indeed quite the opposite. We have confidence and we have focus and anyone else’s views are utterly irrelevant.

We always know where we stand with Wigan. We really don’t like them and they really don’t like us. It’s a very healthy and balanced relationship actually and all of our lives would be much emptier without it.

It will be a titanic encounter and each side will be giving everything and more for their clubs and for their fans. It would be more than a nice touch to see Nathan and Paul lift that Super League trophy, and against all the odds.

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