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How Brennan will handle Hayne

Nrl
Monday, October 23, 2017

GARTH Brennan once stood in a court of law and opposed the granting of bail to a person facing serious criminal charges with alleged links to the Nomads Motorcycle Club who was pleading for leniency because of his five-week old daughter being on life support.

So forgive him if he refuses to be daunted by the prospect of getting Jarryd Hayne to play some half-decent rugby league.

Whether it is fair or not, how the new Gold Coast Titans coach manages Hayne in his first season as an NRL coach will be a talking point until the time that the superstar fullback begins justifying his hefty wage with match-winning performances.

Reuniting with the Fiji team for the World Cup has many hoping Hayne will rediscover enough inspiration to bring some back to the Titans in 2018, but given his first touch in the warm-up game against the Kangaroos last weekend was a kick out on the full from halfway and he barely got tackled over the course of 40 minutes, something will have to change drastically in the next two months.

Many more experienced coaches than Brennan have been left scratching their heads as to what it is exactly that makes Hayne tick, the latest casualty Neil Henry who is a big proponent that all players are created equal and should be treated as such.

After 18 years spent in the police force, including time as a police prosecutor, Brennan doesn't subscribe to the theory of a blanket approach to man management and those who have played under him in the lower grades speak glowingly of his ability to connect with players.

In Brennan's favour is that Hayne is off contract at the end of 2018 and a decision on whether he deserves an extension will be evident by midway through the season but before that happens he wants to get to know Hayne and all his Titans teammates.

"We all know Jarryd is an exceptional talent," said Brennan at the announcement of his appointment for the next three years on Thursday.

"He is not the only exceptional talent at the Gold Coast Titans. They have a really good roster that I'm really excited about.

"The first thing is to get to know the individual players.

"Jarryd is one of them. There are 29 others I want to get to know away from football.

"The key for me is the players will pick up very quickly that I care about my players. Football players can smell a fraud very quickly.

"They can tell whether you're genuine or not.

"I have no problems with that. I have great relationships with other NRL players I've coached.

"I'm hoping to do that with not just Jarryd but all the other 29 players."

Considered the game's greatest coach in extracting the best from his players, Wayne Bennett credits his management style from his time in the Queensland Police Force and Brennan is no different.

After deciding that as a fullback coming through at Wests Newcastle his rugby league dreams had to make way for a career with greater stability, Brennan rose through the ranks of the New South Wales Police Force over the course of 18 years before moving into coaching full-time.

It's taken more than a decade to become an overnight sensation and 45-year-old Brennan has no doubt that his grounding in the police force will assist him in coping with the myriad of demands that now fall on his shoulders.

"In 18 years in the police service I've seen things that a lot of people haven't seen," said Brennan, who won under-20s and NSW Cup titles during his time at the Panthers.

"Apart from the armed forces it's probably the toughest job you will do.

"It's about being disciplined, holding yourself well in the community, doing the right thing, being a good person and that's why I think the grounding I had in the police service has helped me be the person and the coach that I am.

"I've had life experiences and it helps me be that man manager because I understand where people come from.

"Not everyone's born the same, not everyone's brought up the same. You've got to treat players like you treat people in the community, as individuals.

"I'm not a person that's going to hit them all with big sticks or be a dictator of any sort.

"I'm not going to say I'm going to treat everyone equally because I'm not. People are different.

"What I will say is that when it comes to the non-negotiables as far as the Gold Coast brand goes and affecting the Gold Coast brand — because that's bigger than anyone — they are the non-negotiables.

"As far as getting them prepared for games, everyone's an individual and everyone prepares differently.

"It's about me getting to know them and how I can get the best out of them and if I can do that then the success will follow."








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