PAUL McGregor and Craig Young will act as St George Illawarra assistant coaches next year to Steve Price, who has survived the Dragons’ coaching review after a miserable season.
The Dragons announced today McGregor, who has overseen the Illawarra Cutters in their first two years in the NSW Cup competition, would step up to assist the NRL side in 2014.
He will be joined by Craig Young, who has been in charge of the club’s recruitment.
McGregor, a former strength and conditioning coach at the club, has been charged with sparking the side’s attack, while Young will predominantly work with the forwards.
Former premiership-winning mentor Steve Folkes did not have his contract as assistant coach extended.
St George Illawarra’s premiership-winning captain Ben Hornby and former teammate Dean Young have been appointed co-coaches of the club’s National Youth Competition side.
The Dragons slumped to their lowest-ever finish as a joint venture in 2013, with the club announcing it had commissioned a review into coaching and recruitment after an embarrassing round-25 loss to wooden spooners Parramatta.
It sparked speculation Price’s one-year extension, inked on Anzac Day, may be under threat after the Red V crashed to the longest ever losing streak in the club’s history.
But in a statement released after the Dragons board commissioned the review, the Dragons concluded: ‘‘The board determined that it was not appropriate to hold head coach Steve Price singularly responsible for the club’s rugby league performance and outcomes in 2013.’’
Added chief executive officer Peter Doust: ‘‘The result of 2013 and the significant changes to our playing squad for next season determined the need to really strip back and assess all aspects of our football program and redefine our strategies and direction.
‘‘I would like to note that the final decision on staffing for season 2014 only, was made by the board in the week ending September 27 after detailed review of all the available coaching options and relevant requirements.
‘‘We have re-engineered our recruitment management system and refined our plans and processes to ensure we continue to meet the expectations of our region, our roster and the recruitment market.’’
Price labelled his side’s performance this season as ‘‘not good enough’’, while predicting the squad will overhaul their conditioning in the pre-season.
‘‘The standards and outcomes were not up to the requirements and expectations of everyone associated with the Dragons,’’ he said.
‘‘Everyone has been challenged, individual staff and players, in the search for answers and improvements.
‘‘We suffered a lot with injuries in 2013, our players missed a total of 198 games which challenged our depth, especially in key positions.
‘‘The loss of experience and leadership in the last two years had a significant impact in both the training and game environment.
‘‘Our attack and the decision making of our play makers did not deliver enough points.’’