13 ERNIE MERRICK

NEW­CAS­TLE JETS

Australian Four Four Two - - 99 THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR THIS SEASON -

The Ed­in­burgh-born tac­ti­cian still boasts a su­pe­rior sil­ver­ware re­turn from his Mel­bourne Vic­tory days. More than six years on, Ernie Merrick misses the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of lift­ing tro­phies, which is why he hit the eject but­ton at Welling­ton Phoenix. “When I came to New­cas­tle and talked to chair­man Martin Lee and CEO Lawrie McKinna, I said, ‘I don’t just want to get to the fi­nals. I want to win some­thing’.” Lee and McKinna were both prepared to invest and make the changes needed to drag the Hunter out­fit out of a seven-year malaise, says Merrick. “We might not have a team now to win the league but our in­ten­tion is to try to win it this year or next year. He adds: “When you go for coach­ing jobs these days, you’re ei­ther too in­ex­pe­ri­enced, or you’re over the hill. “I think I’m some­where in be­tween and I haven’t peaked yet.”

LAST THREE CLUBS: Phoenix (2013-16), Hong Kong na­tional team (2011-12), Vic­tory (2005-11)

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