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McFadden admits change needed at Warriors

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/09/2016 Angelo Risso

Demoted Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has acknowledged a change had to be made at the NRL club after yet another failed finals tilt.

McFadden, who has coached the Warriors since mid-2014, was demoted on Tuesday to assistant coach for the 2017 NRL season under new boss Stephen Kearney.

Kearney called time on his nine-year reign as Kiwis boss to take on the head coach role and has signed a three-year deal.

McFadden, speaking at the club's awards night, said he was comfortable with the decision and knew missing the finals would put his job in jeopardy.

He accepted the need for fresh thinking after his side's Round 25 capitulation to the Tigers in Auckland, which mathematically ruled them out of the hunt.

However he felt the club had taken steps under his watch in creating a winning culture.

"I preach to the players about accountability and that's why I fully accept the changes and agree with the changes that have been made," McFadden said.

"I feel very comfortable I can still contribute and I've spoken to Stephen (Kearney) about it, and I still want to be a part of this organisation."

He later told reporters he'd flown to Brisbane to discuss the new coaching structure with Kearney, who is currently the Broncos assistant coach.

Kearney, a Warriors foundation player and 45-cap Kiwi, had no qualms with keeping McFadden on board.

The Australian would now look to immerse himself in improving his young troops, with a view to becoming an NRL head coach again in the future.

"It was a real baptism of fire, the role I had, and I've learned a lot in that time," McFadden said.

"It's going to help me be a better assistant coach and down the track, you never know what happens."

McFadden, who will be joined in the assistant role by club legend Stacey Jones, also said his duties as assistant were yet to be ascertained.

Pre-season would continue as scheduled despite the changes.

Warriors owner Eric Watson acknowledged on Tuesday evening that McFadden had been thrown in the deep end as a rookie NRL coach.

He said it was clear McFadden still held the respect of the playing group, despite the adverse results.

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