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Maguire: My belief never wavered about making Tigers a force

In a bid to end the hype surrounding his position, Michael Maguire says his belief has never wavered that he can turn the Wests Tigers into a force after the board has backed him to remain as coach.

Maguire issued a statement to a range of media outlets, including, on Wednesday after being inundated with requests to speak after the Tigers announced on Tuesday that he would keep his job following a review into the club's operations.

"After all the speculation, I’m pleased to move forward with the Wests Tigers. A lot has been said publicly. I wish for this statement to put an end to the public period of examination and a return to the quiet work of crafting a winning team," he said.

"I’m happy to keep working with every member of the organisation on our vision to turn around the fortunes of this proud club. My belief never wavered that in the fullness of time the club will be a rugby league force."

The club's failure to attract marquee free agents in recent years has been floated as one of the reasons why the Tigers may have made a change on the coaching front but Maguire said their "recruitment policy won’t deviate".

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Former premiership-winning coach Tim Sheens is joining the club to help turn their fortunes around after finishing ninth, 11th and 13th under Maguire.

"We will look to bring players in that complement our team and salary cap position," Maguire said.

"We want players to join our club that have the passion to help the club return to its winnings ways, along with our juniors growing a stronger foundation.

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"I’m looking forward to working with Tim to build a strong and sustainable roster.
As a coach, self-improvement is always a path that I am hungry for.

"The game evolves, our competitors evolve, we need to take the squad to a higher level every day because that’s what it takes to compete at a top-four level all the time.

"You need to continually put yourself into that space to play and win a grand final. That’s what I’m focussing on."

Maguire thanked everyone who had supported him through the recent period where his tenure was not guaranteed and said he was keen to spend some quality time with his family before getting the Tigers' pre-season underway on November 1.

We need to take the squad to a higher level every day

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire

Sheens – who won premierships with the Tigers in 2005 and Canberra in 1989, 1990 and 1994 – is waiting for a flight from England to take up the post and will work closely with Maguire, who played under him in the early 1990s at the Raiders.

The Tigers have some promising young talent, headed by Daine Laurie, Adam Doueihi, Stefano Utoikamanu, Jake Simpkin and Shawn Blore, but have struggled to recruit big-name players.

The cashed-up Tigers, who have about $2 million in their salary cap to spend and have been linked with the likes of Tariq Sims and Adam Elliott, will part ways with assistant coach Wayne Collins and are on the lookout for a replacement.

Maguire is contracted until the end of the 2023 season but chairman Lee Hagipantelis admitted there would again be speculation about the club’s coaching position if the team does perform well next season.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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