Laurie Daley today vowed to approach his new role as NSW VB Blues coach in the same manner that made him a champion player for the Canberra Raiders, NSW and Australia.
“The selectors took a gamble on me as a young rookie and we won three Origin series in a row,” Daley said at a media conference at Rugby League Central today.
“I will approach coaching the same as my playing days … I will be full-on and my preparation will be meticulous.
“We will be up against a pretty special Queensland side, but the passion and pride shown by the Blues players this year leaves me no doubt we can get the job done.”
Daley has a long and distinguished history with the Blues, having played 23 games for NSW from 1989-99 (plus three for NSW in Super League), and has been a NSW selector and Assistant Coach in recent years.
At the age of 22, Daley was named captain of a NSW team that had lost four of their last five series, but they went on to win the next three consecutive Harvey Norman State of Origin series (1992-94).
His playing career, which spanned 14 seasons from 1987 to 2000, also included 244 games for the Raiders and 21 for Australia (plus five for Australian in Super League).
As a coach, he has been in charge of the NSW Country Origin team since 2008 and the Indigenous All Stars team for the past two years.
While Daley is very excited about the appointment for 2013-14 and is keen to get stuck into planning as soon as possible, he said he would not distract the players from their 2012 club football commitments.
“I have spoken with (NSW Captain) Paul Gallen, but apart from that, I think it is important to let the players focus on finishing off the 2012 season,” Daley said.
“That won’t stop me from getting started on planning though. The moment I was offered the position, my mind instantly started thinking about what I would do. I want to start sooner rather than later. I am very excited.”
Daley said Origin had come a long way over the past couple of years and this year’s series was the toughest he had witnessed.
“Ricky (Stuart) did a fantastic job over the past two years in closing the gap between Queensland and New South Wales and I want to build on that legacy and leave my own legacy behind,” Daley said.
“Origin is a theatre of dreams and, from what the players showed me this year, those dreams can come to reality. That’s our challenge.”
NSWRL Chairman, Mr John Chalk, said it had been a tough decision, but the nine-member NSWRL Board unanimously agreed on Daley after interviewing the four applicants at Rugby League Central yesterday.
“Laurie Daley was a very successful State of Origin player and he has coached the Country team and the Indigenous All Stars side, so his coaching experience in one-off games and one-off series has been extensive,” Chalk said.
“We are confident he can continue to build on the incredible job Ricky Stuart did instilling pride in the Blues players and supporters over the past two years.”