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Maguire: Players should be ready to go at a week's notice

He acknowledges the sport science professionals may disagree but Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire believes players should be able to get back onto the field with just a week's notice.

Call it a tough stance or a reminisce of the good old days, Maguire was eager to see who - at his own club and in the NRL - would say no to a return by September with less than a month's notice, if it meant salvaging the season.

"If we only had a week, you'd play in a week," Maguire told

"Is that the right thing for their bodies at that time … it's not ideal. Yes, in our game it would be handy to have a lead-in and all those things to get our players back.

"From a sports science view they'd want to have a month but if we got to September and it was getting tight and we were ready to go, I can't see players not wanting to play.

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"It's their job to look after themselves during this period. That's the expectation in professional sport, the players that do it better than others will go on and kick on when the season starts and create opportunities for themselves."

Maguire likened the situation of handing out individualised programs to players as to that of his playing days in the early 1990s.

"If you went away and did it you'd succeed and if you didn't you found you weren't playing at the top level," Maguire said.

"It's a learning experience for the young guys to see what it used to be like. We didn't have all the coaches or the facilities that we have, we had to rely on ourselves. Some did it well and others didn't.

"They're men and this is their trade so I think if they take responsibility and look after themselves they'll be in good shape by the time it comes back.

"I think every coach would've been talking to their players about that.

"There's a lot of chatter around gym equipment being moved into player's garages and everyone's training but that's the expectation of a professional sportsman now.

"If you're not then you're not going to have the career you thought you would."

Maguire spent a year out of coaching when he finished at the Rabbitohs in 2017 and said the time away gave him a different perspective when he took on the role at the Wests Tigers.

The 2014 premiership-winning coach will juggle the prospect of planning for the 2021 season while keeping the current squad on track in preparation for a return.

"I'll look for things to do during this period, I want to improve as a coach and there's plenty of books out there to study," Maguire said.

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"I had a bit of practice when I finished at my last organisation [South Sydney] and purposely didn't want to dive straight back in.

"There are many things I looked at to understand where kids are at this day and age. I see it as a great opportunity when we do come back. Teams are going to be in a different state.

"You're planning every day … whether that's recruiting, staff, different styles of training and overall just looking for an edge.

"I'm at a club moving forward very quickly. We can be doing a lot while we're away in this holding pattern, we haven't been successful recently as a club so should use this time to have it back in a better place."

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