HULL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Michael Maguire Head Coach of New Zealand Rugby League team during Captains run at KCOM Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Hull, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

The Wests Tigers have confirmed the release of Ivan Cleary from the remainder of his coaching contract, while also announcing that Michael Maguire has been appointed as the club’s new Head Coach.

Maguire will join the Wests Tigers on a three-year deal

“On behalf of everyone at Wests Tigers I’d like to welcome Michael to the club,” said Wests Tigers Chair Marina Go.

“Michael has had success at the highest level and we look forward to having him as a part of Wests Tigers for at least the coming three seasons.

“I’d like to thank our stakeholders and Members for their patience during this process,” she said. “This was a situation not of our making but I’m proud of the professional manner that the club has conducted itself and I believe we’re now in a very strong position to move forward over the coming years.”

Go also thanked Cleary for his efforts while at the club.

“On behalf of everyone at Wests Tigers I would like to thank Ivan for the work he did during his time at the club,” said Go.

“Ivan oversaw a period of significant change at Wests Tigers and his work will leave a positive impact on the club.”

It’s expected that Cleary will now sign with the Penrith Panthers for the 2019 season and beyond.


    • Are you celebrating the Tigers new signing or the release of Cleary to the Panthers?

      Congrats Tigers fans. A quality coach and a quality bloke as well who is there for the long haul and won’t be looking for a greener pasture while he is still umder contract like Cleary and Seibold.

      • Seriously, Reg Reagan? The Tigers, and every other NRL club, has done the same thing, with players. Ivan originally signed from 2021 onwards, if the reports are to believed, and it appears that the West Tigers had a tantrum. They were convinced that Nathan was signed, sealed and delivered, and it backfired on them.

        • I can’t help but notice that you didn’t answer the question P18?

          Like I posted below, I agree with Andrew Johns’ assessment that having father and son at the same club is a double edged sword and is fraught with danger.

          I only hope that THIS time Gould will stay out of it and let Ivan do his job without hindrance.

        • Okay, I shall answer my own question then, although I believe that my message is clear. I am happy that Ivan will be returning.

        • As I thought. Whereas I was happy for Madge (to see him coaching again, which is where he belongs) and for the Tigers and their fans to have a coach that honours his word and is resolute in his commitments.

  1. Well its obvious here who got the best coach out of all this coaching merry-go-round. First place goes to

    1. Wests with Maguire
    2. Cleary with Penrith
    3. Brisbane with Seibold
    4. Manly with Hasler
    5. Souths with Bennett.

    It gives me great pleasure in announcing that Souths have come out as the Merry-go-round clear spoon winners. I’m so pleased that old man Bennett with his useless defensive techniques will be in charge as the Roosters play them in the last game of the season before the semis which now means the Roosters go in with an easy win by 40+ and won’t be knocked around for the first week of the finals💪😎👊😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    • WoodChook, I’ll have a crack at ranking them too.
      1. Madge. I think he’s is exactly what Wests need.
      2. Bennett. If I get this 1 wrong, I think it will be very wrong. I have him here because I think some good players will follow him, and because it’s already a pretty solid/established squad, so if he just adds a bit (just fine tuning) it’ll probably work well. On the flip side, if tries to make big changes I think that could get ugly.
      3. Des. He’s an experienced coach, and just what Manly need. The board will help control the deals.
      4. Siebold. Ive got him here because he’s still somewhat untested. Yes, the Bunnies had a great year, but in part it was Cook given control of the 9, and he was brilliant for most of the season, and the twins actually doing their jobs. He’s got a strong, improving pack to work with at the Broncos, so we’ll see what he can actually do.
      5. Cleary. He’s got an avaerage coaching record, and i just can’t see it working. It’ll probably be O.K in the short term, but I don’t think it’ll work longer term.

      • Fair enough eelsalmighty that could be the case, we roughly agree with the majority but we have Bennett and Cleary in different positions.

        Look Phil Gould has a really great football brain and coached like Bennett two different teams to premierships, and like Bennett got his third team to the preliminary final but Gould got the Roosters to two preliminary finals in a row 97, 98.

        I think Cleary has learnt his lesson with Gould there, has come back a wiser man and reinvented himself to actually take Phil Gould’s input on instead of trying to do every thing his way. After all if he doesn’t listen to the great footy mind of Gould then he knows what happens. Just like last time when Gould said that he needs a rest that he is burnt out and quickly escorted him to through the door.

        Gould with Cleary just like Gould with Stuart in 2002 at the Roosters when gould was his mentor/adviser will or at least could coach Penrith to a premiership. If they get a couple more excellent imports. Cleary will listen to Gould this time. Especially after what Gould did to Griffin 4 weeks out from this years semis. 👊😎👊

        • There is no way Cleary is going to the Panthers to do what Gould says, he will make all coaching decisions and if he was smart he would have stipulated that for him to return.

          Gould sacking Griifin just before the semi’s shows Gould is out of touch and aggrogant, but I do like his commentary to be honest.

      • mighty, I wouldn’t worry about Ivan. His son is close mates with his dad’s boss so I think this time round no one wants to upset the apple cart (or “the golden child”). 😉

        • I’m sure no one wants to upset the apple cart, but will it work?
          Ivan’s track record is average, and he’s probably a better coach than that, but to date it is what it is.
          Gus would be a hard man to work with/for at the best of times, and given he obviously doesn’t genuinely want Ivan back (other than because of Nathan)it will make him that much harder, especially if Ivan still bares some ill feeling.
          The third coach in as many months, who’s appointment is, almost solely, to appease one of their youngest players could, probably will, get a few of the older boys off side.
          I just don’t see it working for long, if at all.

      • I pretty well agree Mighty. Only because Siebold is still untested and because I doubt Hasler has a great roster to work with at Manly I’d swap them around but it’s just IMO.

      • I know just how you feel mate. I used to fall asleep on a mid-afternoon when the Roosters where playing. All that defence and very little in the way of attack. 😉

      • I believe Bennett will be coaching Souths in 2019 and Seibold will be coaching Brisbane. They are both searching for stability and a committed plan to win premierships. Club officials from both clubs want the same thing and Brisbane has been trying to offload Bennett for a couple of seasons. If Souths are going to be successful under Bennett then he needs the best defensive coach in the comp. Fitzgibbon is staying at the Roosters but whoever the next best is Bennett will need to get Russell Crow to pay what ever he wants. 💪🤑👍

        • Woody, I love how your assessment of Souths end up with a plug for the Roosters… Fitzgibbon the best NRL defensive coach. Well, Souths had the best best attack in 2018 and the Roosters didn’t even finish in the top 3!

          Even the Raiders who finished out of the 8 had better attacking figures than the Roosters. So how is Jason Taylor working out for you as your attacking coach? 😂


          My all time favourite league commentary quote. The exclamation point to an impossible 2 try comeback by the Rabbitohs against the Roosters in 2012.

          Souths were down 22-12 with 2 mins to go and scored the second of 2 tries in succession on the siren to win 24-22.

          Proof miracles can happen and my little walk down memory lane with Woody. 😁

          Thanks for the reminder 1eyedrabbit. 👍🏻

    • Your right Panther18 It is getting really old!!
      Hey Pedro, it was never about Panthers winning a premiership in 5years time when Gould took the helm. It was about changing the culture at Penrith….. we have the biggest Rugby League nursery in the country and back then the club wasn’t making the most of that. We were only debuting about 20% of our locals into first grade, fast forward to now and we’re averaging about 80% of our locals moving into first grade. Financially we are better now then what we were back then….. memberships have improved also…. retention of our juniors has improved dramatically on top of that.
      So if you want to start talking about the so called “5 year plan” I think there’s been a lot of success come out of that, regardless if we’ve won a premiership or not.
      Good luck to your team.

      • Also Gus had to clean up a lot of dead wood from the club before they became competitive, and they have. Three consecutive semi final appearance, with a squad stack full of locally produced players, is a testament to that.

        • Fair enough… bad dig.
          The comment was more in jest that Cleary ends back out at the Pennies and surely that wasn’t in the plan.
          I think Gould gas done a good job all round on the rebuild but I also think he needs to step away from the coaching cycle and keep is nose out the direction that Cleary takes.
          As for those de-rating Cleary I don’t agree. All coaches develop at different rates but he has a young beau and plenty of experience now.
          Good luck for 2019

        • Ivan started the rebuild, Hook sort have improved things, and now Ivan has returned to finish things off. Without a doubt, Nathan would not have debuted if Ivan didn’t leave though.

        • All teams need imports and Penrith need a few more to go with Dean Whare, James Maloney, Tyrone Phillips, James Tamou, Trent Merrin. The Panthers are building a really good team but somthings missing, maybe a world class centre might be all they need for Phil Gould to point Cleary in the right direction. 🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱

      • Brisbane has the biggest rugby League nursery in the World. Look a five year plan is a 5yr plan. It did not happen, it has been a failure and Penrith like every other club needs to buy some decent players if they want a comp.

        Even Brisbane over the past few years with the biggest nursery on the planet has had to open the check book to attempt, like every other club in the past 30yrs, to buy a premiership. Penrith has purchased Maloney, Tamou, Merrin, and a few others but it is not enough. Their juniors are not quite up to the task and if they add two or three quality players more buy buying them a premiership will come.

        Penrith live in this dream from the 1970’s that tribalism is alive and well and only local juniors will win us a comp. If they stick to that policy like Souths have then in 43yrs you just might fluke one as long as you did what Soufths did and but 6 players to help the local juniors over the line.🎱🎯🎱🎯🎱🎯

        • “Brisbane has the biggest rugby League nursery in the World.”

          Well that explains why they are all sooks and dummy spitters. Bahahahahahahaha 😂😂😂😂

        • Woody, we all know why Souths took 43yrs to win a comp, clubs like yours kept stealing our best juniors , two of your all time greats are imports Fittler and Beetson , obviously there are more , but you get the point.

        • Whats so funny Reg Reagan❓❔❓❔ They have 2.4 mil population which is the third biggest city in Australia. How many people live in greater Brisbane that plays Rugby League❓❔❓❔. If you take North Brisbane out for Melbourne.s Nursery then that leaves Brisbane with the rest. 5 times bigger than Souths and Penrith put together

          I agree with you about the largest group of sooks and dummy spitters.

          Penso, that’s true but my point is if you have a heap of locally born juniors like Souths and Penrith to win a comp you cant rely on your locals only, You still need to by a Fittler or a Beetson or in your teams case a Inglis and a army of Burgess’s with a Teo and a Tiquri. Otherwise just relying on your locals you would be still waiting. Souths fans would be up to 47 years now for that elusive premiership had Russell not have taken a page out of the book of fueds and copied the Roosters how to get a premiership plan. Crow knew he needed to open up the wallet. Hence Inglis, Burgess and co.

          You also must remember Penso. Souths were the first team to buy a premiership in Australian Rugby League History when all league teams purchased players away from Rugby Union to form a Rugby League. The Roosters were only trying to keep up with your lead.😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣💪😎👍

  2. So Ivan was terrible coached that warranted him being sacked, but now is a great coach?

    Clearly, he is being hired only to keep his son there, and Phil Gould will have his hand so up Ivan’s a** doing whatever Phil Gould wants.

    Ivan you’re really not the coach.

    • Hey Parra maybe focus on your club trying not to get another wooden spoon rather than worrying about ur neighbours ay!

      • He does have a valid point Westie4life. Gould sacked Cleary as he didn’t rate him. Once there was a real possibility of the Rif losing Cleary Jr, they were all over Ivan to get him back. Anyone who isn’t a Rif supporter can clearly see why Gould brought Ivan back.
        As for your post about goulds 5 year plan you are spot on. As a Parra supporter, I am jealous of how well Could has rebuilt your club.
        Would love that to happen at Parra as we have the 2nd biggest jnr nursery behind your team. Unfortunately my useless club has hired a guy who was fired from the same role at the tigers after 6 months for sexual harassment. Our club is incompetent from top to bottom.

        • All clubs go through it mate – look at Saints post the Bennett era when Price was the coach. . . Parra just need a good GM.

      • So because the Eels got the spoon we aren’t allowed to comment on other teams? We all know the problems at our club and don’t hide from it, but we are allowed to have an opinion on other clubs too, just as you are on the Eels.

        From the outside looking in Parra14 has hit the nail on the head. Sure, none of us know exactly what led to his sacking or reappointment, but on the surface he was sacked because he didn’t have what it took to bring a premiership to Penrith, and now he has been re-signed to keep Nathan happy.

    • I think Cleary is a good coach but WHO would go back to work for an old boss who sacked them once and give him a chance to pull the rug out from under them again?

      I can really understand Andrew John’s recent comments when he said he would have HATED to be coached by his father.

      Now Nathan is between a rock and a hard place if privately out of earshot his team mates bag “the coach” (his dad) or if at home the same happens in reverse and Nathan has to listen (or over here) some harsh truths about his mates. What happens if “the golden child’s” form drops? Will his dad have the guts to drop him in the face of Gould having bet all his hopes on the kid? Bold move IF he does because he won’t have anyone to turn to for support at home or at the office.

      That said, I have every confidence in Nathan Cleary’s talent and abilities but talk about impossible situations to deal with.

  3. It is what it is. No use in throwing our 2cents in…its done. If it was me and my son i would do the same. But Cleary didn’t ask for a release, the Tigers deemed it to be untenable to continue which may be the correct call.
    Definitely makes for an interesting ‘clash of the Cats’ in 2019.
    All the best to both teams next year

    • Whilst Ivan didn’t ask for a release the Panthers/Ivan’s intent to combine for 2021 made it untenable for the Tigers. Big part of a coach’s job is recruitment for the future, Ivan going to the Panthers 2021 compromised that, the risk keeping Ivan is a current Tiger junior signing with the Panthers for 2021 to work with Ivan.

      Ivan did a great job at the Tigers, we finished 9th when we were expected to be near the bottom of the table, after the big 4 debacle Ivan recruited really well and Luke Brooks is back on track to fulfill his potential. But ending it this way lacks integrity for someone who always seemed to have integrity. Im glad this circus is over, the Tigers move onwards and upwards with Maguire at the helm.

      • Seriously, TigerTown? Players signs for clubs with a years notice, yes I am aware that in this case it is two. Obviously the Tigers management have had a tantrum. Clearly they were expecting Nathan to sign, and he didn’t.

        • Crichton signing with the Roosters one year advance, all Crichton had to worry about is his performance for 2018 for the Rabbitohs, Crichton wouldn’t even worry about going to the Roosters in 2019. Cleary’s job as coach of the Tigers is not just onfield performance for 2019 but also recruiting with an eye on the future 2020, 2021 and beyond, how many years should we sign this player for etc. Thats immediately compromised with Ivan ending up at the Panthers in 2021. The speculation that Bennett and Siebold are most likely to swap now as opposed to the end of 2019 shows a coach going elsewhere in the future is just not tenable. I still dont see this Tigers management tantrum you speak.

        • We never had intentions of signing Nathan what so ever. It was all about Ivan, but honestly why keep someone for two years at their club when they’re leaving in the future? Makes no sense what so ever, we did the best thing for us as a club moving forward. No tantrums, no dummy spits mate it’s all business. Just as Ivan has done the best thing for himself, no need to make us look like the bad guys, when you guys approached a coach with 3 years on his contract who you guys previously fired, just to keep his son …

        • Bottom line here is that if Penrith had acted with integrity and not offered a coach who had another two years on his valid contract , Tigers would not be in this situation, it was a low act by Penrith and stamps of Goulds arrogance, I know how TT feels cause Brisbane did the same thing to Souths.

        • Give it up old timer, the insults are whack and you’re talking about dummies so much you might actually be one. Then again you do support a team who just hired a coach they fired 3 years ago, just for his son haha go to sleep now old man

        • It is a saying, WestTigersNation. Your team has a past history of doing the same. Ivan could have said NO, so obviously he wanted to join.

        • I won’t buy into the whole integrity of the Panthers things as they played within the rules, so it is what it is. I will agree with WestTigersNation about Cleary staying being untenable though. Spot on that it is the coaches job to look to the future in regard to recruitment and development, and it would be very difficult for Ivan to have sloe focus on the Tigers in that regard knowing he will be at the Panthers.

          At the end of the day the Panthers got who they wanted and the Tigers got a coach with a much better track record. Win win as far as I see it.

  4. I thought the tigers said Cleary would not be released I remember Pascoe coming out declaring west tigers would not be pushed around and would hold Cleary till the end of his contract and they would take legal action against panthers 😂 what a joke of a club they talked a big game for nothing and like I’ve said before they won’t get a cent from the panthers

    • Does anyone look good out of all this ? Do the Panthers and Gould look a bit silly hiring Ivan after releasing him a few years ago ?

      Yeah Pascoe and the Tigers said things that ended up with egg on their faces. Perception is econdary to the end result which is far more important and I think the best result for the Tigers was getting Maguire once Ivan was deemed untenable.

  5. What is the hype about ivan?
    Sacked from all his coaching jobs. Average coach at best.
    Wests win with McGuire, penrith lose with this one.

    Throw in a good signing or two and the tigers cruise into the top eight.

  6. The only reason why this has become an emotive topic is due to the fact Ivan Cleary lied through his teeth and his actions were completely hypocritical….It all started when he coined the “on the bus” phrase when he was bullying Woods, Moses, Tedesco and Brooks to commit to the WT. Then he slammed Mitch Moses for not seeing out his WT contract, when Moses asked for a release to join Parra…He then lied again when, after meeting with Penrith to agree his son signing a 5yr deal and hatching a plan to get out of his WT contract by signing to join ‘Riff in 2021, then he had the hide to state he intends to honor his remaining 2 years at the WT….We all know that was a legal statement to force the WT into releasing him when his position became untenable….He is a gutless human being, Paul Crawley was right to nail him at the press conference late in the year, only for the weasel to suggest misinformation….he was right the misinformation came from his mouth….Good luck Penrith fans, what will you do when Golden child Nathan plays poorly and his father refuses to drop him?, what will Gus do when the sly coach is shown up that he cant really coach?…..the WT fans and club can hold their heads up high…they got the better deal of all of this…..

    • Anyone who agrees with Paul Crawley is a complete idiot Crawley buzz rothfield and the Kent all have agendas against Gould and therefore the panthers they will run down Penrith any chance they get yet when Crawleys mate Bennett does a similar thing and Seibold for that matter nothing negative is said…
      Read between the lines mate

    • Actually, the “on the bus” comment was made by Cleary as an off the cuff comment and the club heard it and ran the promotions with the slogan “on the bus”. Cleary did not coin the term, the club liked it and ran with it.

  7. There is no way Cleary is going to the Panthers to do what Gould says, he will make all coaching decisions and if he was smart he would have stipulated that for him to return.

    Gould sacking Griifin just before the semi’s shows Gould is out of touch and aggrogant, but I do like his commentary to be honest.

    • I agree with the part apart Gus’s arrogance, but he’s also very smart.
      Up until now all the power was with Nathan. The “I’ll sign if Dad’s the coach”, with a option to leave if Ivan is sacked again.
      With that now sorted, and both Nathan and Ivan on 5 year deals, he can’t afford to sack Ivan, but Ivan can’t afford to “walk”, and as long as Ivan’s there, then so too is Nathan.
      Gus may give Ivan some space, but if it’s not working, he can afford to run rough shot over him, just can’t afford to sack him.

      • The problem is with your statement, Nathan didn’t have a father and son clause in his contract. I remember listening to a news article and Nathan said that.

  8. Don’t know if Gould is arrogant? He’s made some bad decisions though. Number 1 & 2 were ,signing & re signing Griffin as coach. The best 1, getting rid of Griffin at any time. Bad decision 3, signing a clapped out Kite from Manly all those years ago.
    No matter what, he’s revamped the club . They made the Finals in every grade entered in 2018, from the smallest juniors to first grade.
    Before he was there, they were hit & mostly miss in every age group.
    As for all the chat from the Tigers. Didn’t the Tigers lure their CEO Justine Pascoe from Penrith with a secret deal? They also got him to bring some of the best staff with him. Is that so different from signing a coach ?
    With the, Penrith need to sign some big name players to win a premiership. That may well be true . However, most clubs have a salary cap & limited Third Party Deals available to them. They can’t all just sign players worth a million a year , 1 after the other. Without a care in the world.

    • Exactly. The West Tigers are hypocrites. They were all convinced that Nathan was signing with them, and he didn’t, and now this? People in glass houses.

      • They were convinced Nathan was signing with them ’cause his father and then Coach of the WT told the club the same…not the clubs fault buddy but your lying coach..

        • I think Wests signed Ivan to improve the club overall , from the juniors up. If Nathan went there, it would have just been a bonus.
          Doubt very much that Ivan would have ever said that Nathan would go to Wests. Nathan could have asked for a release from Penrith at any time in his last contract & would have been given one. His last contract had a clause in it allowing him to go & be coached by his father. His new contract has no such clause & he always wanted to stay at Penrith.

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