WINNING three Super League titles, three World Club Challenge trophies, two League Leaders Shields and a Challenge Cup, there are few rugby league coaches that can boast as good a record as Brian Noble.
Once named the International Coach of the Year, Noble took the Bradford Bulls to unbridled success in the early 2000s, including a treble in 2003, before helping to keep the Wigan Warriors in Super League.
Now, he has returned to Odsal in a role that he doesn’t like to put too much of a label on.
“I first came in as a consultant and that expanded a little bit on recruitment and ensuring Mark Dunning (Bradford’s head coach) doesn’t make the same silly mistakes I made as a young coach. I stick around and do other things as well,” Noble told League Express.
“I’m not one for a title and I never have been but I put my hand to things that I think need me. My area of expertise is on the football side and how that works and the quality of people coming into the joint.
“Mark is the head coach at the end of the day but the environment is healthy, people are enjoying being here and working hard.”
Noble went on to explain how a coaching strategy needs to be meticulous for it to work – and for everyone to buy into the same idea.
“We haven’t been punched back yet though. The telling point is when another 13 blokes come up against you – that’s when you find out if your coaching philosophy is sound,” Noble continued.
“Off the field, everyone can play fancy football and on paper anyone can predict you to finish in a certain place, but it doesn’t work like that.
“You have to have procedure and methodology going along in the games and plan throughout the year. If you lose your first two games and panic sets in then you’ve got the wrong strategy.
“We won’t know where we will be until a couple of months into the season as to how we are going but what I do know is the quality of individuals at Bradford are first-class.”
In terms of the wider game with the new stakeholders IMG, Noble wants to see a complete overhaul of the sport. However, he has yet to see evidence that IMG are going to do just that.
“I’m definitely in support of IMG totally revamping the sport, however what I would say is that I haven’t seen anything yet that leads me to believe that they are totally revamping the sport.”