SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 13: Director of Football at Wests Tigers,Tim Sheens looks on during a Wests Tigers NRL training session at St Lukes Park North on April 13, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Having not appeared in a finals game since 2011, and receiving the club's first-ever wooden spoon, the Wests Tigers appear to be at rock bottom.

It might not be all doom and gloom, however, with signs the club could be turning around.

Since Tim Sheens' premiership-winning tenure at the club ended in 2012, the Tigers have churned through four head coaches in a decade, not once reaching the finals.

After missing out on the signature of Penrith Panthers assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo, who signed a five-year deal with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, the Tigers revealed their bombshell five-year plan of their own.

They announced the return of Tim Sheens as head coach in 2023 and 2024, with Benji Marshall under his wing as an assistant before he takes the reins himself for 2025-2027.

Whilst Marshall has had no coaching experience since retiring last year, he is still considered to be the heart and soul of the Wests Tigers.

“This is about having Wests Tigers DNA surging through the club, and it's about putting together a rock-solid coaching plan for the next five years,” Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said.

The Wests Tigers are following in the footsteps of the infamous five-year plan set in place by Phil Gould for Penrith back in 2012.

After locking down their coaching plan, the Tigers also opened their $75 million Centre of Excellence in Concord, like that of the Panther's $22 million facility opened in 2016.

Up next is developing its junior base, which is off to a promising start with the Wests Harold Matthews team winning the 2022 premiership.

The club's head of pathways, Matt Betsey, told Fatima Kdouh of the Daily Telegraph: “We're looking at the 17 and 18-year-olds, so when Benji takes over in a couple of years he has the best of our local talent, the best on offer to build the roster he needs at the NRL level.”

All that is left now is to sort out the halves problem. Three of the club's playmakers in Adam Doueihi, Jackson Hastings, and Luke Brooks are off contract at the end of 2023, meaning they can start negotiations with rival clubs from November 1, 2022.

This will prove to be a key off-season for the Wests Tigers, but after securing arguably the best two off-contract players this year in grand-finalists Api Koroisau and Isaiah Papali'i, the club has all the ingredients to trend upwards from rock bottom.