Robbo can be a Rooster for life: Cordner
Mitchell Aubusson was around when they were still calling it the ‘transit lounge’.
“In my first three years I had three coaches. It was the transit lounge and it was tough to see all those coaches come through,” Aubusson tells AAP.
From Phil Gould to Graham Murray, Ricky Stuart, Brad Fittler, Chris Anderson and Brian Smith, there was no shortage of fame when it came to the Sydney Roosters clipboard.
In 2013, the foundation club introduced an unknown in Trent Robinson.
“He had no baggage,” Aubusson recalls to AAP.
“Had only coached overseas, had no NRL head coaching experience, and he took it with both hands. He learnt and has gotten better every year, just like some players do.”
Robinson led the Roosters to the minor and major premiership that year.
Six years on and he is now set to overtake Arthur Halloway’s record of 154 games as Roosters coach when he steps in the box for Sunday’s NRL clash against Parramatta.
And he does so with the Roosters an outside chance of claiming their fourth minor premiership under his tenure, as well as a genuine shot at the main prize.
Furthermore, taking care of business against the Eels will ensure Robinson becomes just the third coach to claim a top-two finish in five of their first six seasons.
“Normally it’s like a transit lounge, the coaching job, especially at the Roosters. It’s cut-throat,” co-captain Boyd Cordner said.
“For him to do that, it’s a big credit to himself and a good achievement.
“If he keeps putting us in the best shape and position to go into the finals and win a premiership, he’ll be here as long as he wants.”
It’s a feat that comes at a time where coaches are getting the punt – or in some cases, being pursued – with more than a year left on their contract.
Robinson is the anomaly.
Since taking over at the Roosters, only two other coaches have been able to remain at their club: Craig Bellamy and Shane Flanagan.
Ten from that year are out of head coaching jobs altogether.
“I think a lot of people get into coaching and think they’re going to be career coaches. When I say career, that’s ten-plus years,” star recruit Cooper Cronk says.
“But the volatility of the industry says that doesn’t happen all the time. Coaches get judged on wins and losses and rightly so, that’s the business.”
Cronk’s arrival at Moore Park this year – at the expense of favourite son Mitchell Pearce – has only intensified as the Roosters chase the crown.
And should they do so, Robinson could go on to forge a Roosters legacy like none other.
“If you win at the Roosters, you stick around,” co-captain Jake Friend said.
ALL-TIME ROOSTERS COACHES
Trent Robinson: 154 games
Arthur Halloway: 154 games
Arthur Beetson: 152 games
Ricky Stuart: 131 games
Phil Gould: 123 games
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