Meninga: My plan for the Titans review
THE Titans internal review will have a few people nervous at Robina. In his exclusive column, Mal Meninga tells us exactly what he's looking to change - and how he's going to change it.
The Titans review I am undertaking is not about sackings.
It's about having a performance review in the middle of the year to look at how our systems are working.
We have some really good people here who are working their butts off but we just aren't getting the results on the football field.
Everything behind the scenes is functioning really well, but like anything in life, you can always strive to be better.
This review will adopt a holistic approach of how we can make the Titans better.
It's not a witch hunt. It's not about blame. It's an internal review to extract the best of this club and what other resources we need to put into our football department to make sure we can achieve sustainable success.
We didn't want to wait until the end of the year and say this doesn't work, we need to do something.
We decided we needed to be proactive and find innovative ways to be one of the powerhouses of the NRL.
This is a review we need to get right.
I'd like to get it completed as soon as I can. I've been with the club for six months now so I feel I have a good appreciation of the depth of talent here and the board has asked me to tick off on what I feel is important.
There are several facets of the operation that I will be investigating.
I will be getting feedback from employees on what they feel works well and what things can be improved.
I liken it to a SWOT analysis really. I will look at our strengths. I will discuss any weaknesses. I will assess our opportunities and be cognisant of the threats to our objective of being a robust, successful NRL club.
I will be leaving no stone unturned. I will look at our development programs and our transition programs. I will look at our feeder clubs and how we nurture relationships to make sure we don't lose our best young talents to other clubs.
The likes of Payne Haas, Jai Arrow and Tom Dearden were all in our catchment. Thankfully Arrow returned, but small losses here and there all add up.
I will also look at our senior set-up. Are there any resources we need to compete with other NRL clubs at the top level?
It's important to get a balanced outlook. I will also interview people externally. We can't have the blinkers on. People outside the club might not know the day-to-day internal mechanics but they see a footy team run around, they see things happening in the community. People talk and have opinions. Reputations matter. It's important to listen to feedback.
I will also listen to the administrators and the players, many of whom have been here longer than me.
I will be defining and refining the data and putting it into a report. I will make recommendations. I believe it will be comprehensive, but it's not the piece de resistance. It's not some sort of Titans bible, but I hope it provides a blueprint of upskilling people here and making the Titans a great club.
I was employed as head of performance to help and assist, not terminate. I'm here to improve the organisation from the grassroots to the top.
My expertise is in rugby league and hopefully I can put together a wide-ranging document to give us immediate improvement, not just on the football field, but off it with the balance of our roster and recruitment strategies.
One positive for the club has been an increase in our junior development budget. That will help us retain our best kids and show them there is a pathway to becoming a Titans player of the future.
We need to build trust back in the rugby league community here. The Titans made the preliminary final in 2010. There is a strong footballing community here and that encompasses the Northern Rivers who are part of our club as well.
We need the people to have faith in us again and if we achieve that, the crowds will come back and fill the stands.
Garth Brennan, our coach, is part of this process. He can only control what he can control.
I speak to Garth almost every day and his input will be an important part of the final document I deliver to the Titans board.
In terms of performance this season, our roster is deep and it is strong enough to be successful.
There have been some mitigating factors. We lost Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts in the opening weeks with injury and our loss against the Bulldogs last month wasn't up to standards for our club.
Our effort against the Broncos last week showed there is real character at the Titans.
I truly believe there are good things happening here ... but we need to capitalise on that for the club to realise its true potential.