Michael Maguire has a burning ambition to return to the NRL head coaching ranks and believes he still has what it takes to lead a side to another premiership.
The Wests Tigers sacked Maguire after three-and-a-half years at the helm and are now looking for a replacement. The club gave Panthers assistant Cameron Ciraldo a tour of its facilities on Monday in the hope he will take up the job from next year. The Bulldogs are also vying for his services from next season.
Maguire has thrown himself into his job as the Kiwis coach and on Wednesday named a strong side that includes the spine combination of Jahrome Hughes, Brandon Smith, Dylan Brown and Joseph Manu for next weekend’s Test against Tonga.
While that international, and the upcoming World Cup, remains his main focus, the premiership-winning mentor remains hopeful of having another crack in the NRL.
Whether it’s at international or NRL level, [coaching] is what I enjoy doing, Maguire told the Herald.
If I’m lucky enough to move into another opportunity, I’m going to throw myself in, no different to what I have before.
I’m coaching now and where the coaching journey takes me, it will find itself.
I’m fortunate to be able to roll into some international footy now and that’s my next role, we’ll see what we can achieve at that level.
I love coaching teams and players, creating a strong staff, so [the NRL] is something I’m obviously keen to do.
Maguire is one of the few league coaches to have won premierships in both hemispheres, with Wigan and South Sydney. He believes more premiership success is possible if he gets another crack.
That is definitely a goal of mine, to repeat it, he said.
I’ve chased it in two countries and I continue to be hungry to achieve it again. It makes so many people build a bond together that you have for life.
You’re always chasing that.
Maguire is the third coach moved on already this season after Trent Barrett and Nathan Brown parted from the Bulldogs and Warriors respectively. Asked if the industry was more cut-throat than ever, the 48 year old said: I don’t know if it is or isn’t.
I don’t pay too much attention to that. It’s a job that I do because it’s about performance, it’s about achieving. That’s the driving factor.
If that’s part of what this arena brings, that’s what you’ve got to face. Sometimes the timings of where you are at, how things work, the makings of where you are at in the organisation itself – it all plays a part.
You have to continually strive to find a group that is ready to go.
Despite the note on which he finished at the Tigers, Maguire said he remained passionate about the job and the game.
It’s the reason why I bounce straight into what I’m doing now, he said.
I’ve been able to talk and get together with many of the Kiwi players and look at what they want to achieve.
What they want to achieve, how they want to go about things, is what I love being around.
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