Dean Young is disappointed he didn’t get St George Illawarra’s head coaching job, but he has backed Anthony Griffin to lead a Dragons’ revival.
The famous Red V opted to bypass interim and club legend Young to hire Griffin on a two-year deal as coach.
Experience played a key factor given Griffin has coached 173 first grade games to date with the Brisbane Broncos (2011-14) and the Penrith Panthers (2016-18).
Young would have loved to coach his beloved Dragons, where he played 209 NRL games and won a premiership in 2010, but he respects the club’s choice.
“I was a little bit disappointed that I missed out because I thought that I interviewed well and gave it my best shot, but I can understand the club’s decision in going with more experience,” Young said.
“Anthony Griffin has been at two big clubs before and he has got a winning percentage of around 55 per cent.
“So, I can fully understand the club’s decision to go that way.”
Former Panthers and Broncos coach Anthony Griffin has been appointed St George Illawarra’s head coach for the next two seasons. Picture: AAP Image/Michael Chambers.Source:AAP
Young confirmed that he will remain on the Dragons’ coaching staff as an assistant after speaking to Griffin and amid a cleanout that claimed assistant coach Shane Flanagan.
The pair share a close relationship as assistants with the Tongan international side.
“I spoke to Hook straight after the decision was made.
“He rung me up and I said, what did you ring me up for – to gloat did you?
“We had a conversation. We worked together as assistants in the Tongan side at the end of the year and we’ve got on great ever since that.
“We’ve stayed in contact and he indicated for me that he would like me to stay around, so we will see where it goes.”
Young believes Griffin possesses the traits and experience to steer the Dragons to glory in the coming seasons.
“I think he is going to do a great job,” he said.
“He is a great person, Hook. He has a lot of experience and I think his time out of the game will probably make him a better coach.
“He would have reviewed what he did at Penrith and the Broncos.
“As a coach you learn every day and every year, so I’m sure he is ready for the opportunity to try and turn this club around and turn it into a force again.
“I really hope he does.”
Young is shattered to miss out on the Dragons’ top job, but he hasn’t given up on his NRL head coaching dream.
“I’m in the coaching game for the long haul,” he said.
“I’m only 36 and I’ve been an assistant coach for six years, so I’ve still got a lot to learn as head coaches who are 50 years of age.
“I view myself as a coach and where my journey goes, I’m not too sure and we will work all of that out in the future.”
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