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Maguire just second coach extended in Wests Tigers history after new deal

Michael Maguire is just the second coach in Wests Tigers 21-year history to secure a contract extension as the joint-venture backs him wholeheartedly to end the NRL's longest finals drought.

Maguire's two additional seasons on top of his current deal tie the 46-year-old to the club until the end of 2023, the Tigers announced on Thursday.

It is the first time a Tigers coach has had their tenure extended since premiership-winner Tim Sheens almost a decade ago, though even he exited the club within 18 months of his re-signing in April, 2011.

Maguire's recommitment is a significant endorsement from both parties given his first two seasons at Concord have yielded ninth and 11th place finishes.

The Tigers 2020 campaign ended with a confronting honesty session in which players raised concerns about 'walking on eggshells' around selection, while Maguire was also linked with rival outfits amid the NRL-wide coaching upheaval.

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But given Sheens is the only coach of seven in Tigers history to preside over more than 51 games, officials have made clear their desire for stability in their ranks and endorsing Maguire's renowned hard-line approach to the club's turnaround.

"As a club, we’re really thrilled with the appointment of Michael," CEO Justin Pascoe said.

"Not only does this provide him with further security, it also provides our entire football program with a strong sense of direction.

"We have absolute faith in Michael and our football department in the sustainable team they are building here.

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"Michael is a fierce competitor, and we love that. He shares the same set of values that our club is built on with his drive and passion for success."

Maguire's extension continues a busy pre-season for the Tigers with James Tamou, Joe Ofahengaue, Stefano Utoikamanu and James Roberts all arriving as Josh Aloiai and Josh Reynolds make their exits.

Undoubtedly the Tigers salary cap is now in the best shape of Maguire's tenure after the roster hangover from Ivan Cleary's time.

That clean air was a considerable selling point in Maguire's extension.

"We’ve put a lot of work in over the last couple of years and I’m seeing plenty of change for the club to move forward in a big way," Maguire said.

"We’re all not happy with where we’ve been and everything we do now is about moving us forward towards a premiership.

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire.
Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire. ©NRL Photos

"I love the people here and the passion around the organisation.

"The more I see people with a connection Wests Tigers, the more I see the hunger for success. This is a massive club with an incredibly rich history, and we’re all determined to grow this year into a really strong season."

With Maguire's extension the Tigers hope to curb an unappealing trend that has seen only Sheens last more than two seasons in charge of the club.

Aside from Sheens' 10-year, 250 game tenure that peaked with the 2005 title, only Terry Lamb (2000-2002) and Michael Potter (2013-14) have seen out their coaching contracts at Concord.

Both however were informed midway through their final seasons that their two-year contracts would not be renewed.

Otherwise, inaugural coach Wayne Pearce quit abruptly after his first season at the turn of the century, Jason Taylor was sacked three games into the 2017 campaign and Cleary moved back to Penrith in the most acrimonious circumstances.

By shoring up Maguire's job security, the Tigers are backing him to end a finals drought that now stretches back to 2011, that same year their last contract extension was tabled to a coach.