Of all coaching appointments of recent years, few were more out of the blue than Featherstone’s decision to put Ryan Carr in charge.
Most people in this country will have had to do a Google search to figure out who he was.
Combine his unknown status with the fact he is just 30-years-old, and on the surface, the appointment is a real head-scratcher.
Delve a little deeper, however, and the decision quickly gets put into the shrewd category.
Carr has been coaching for years. A promising player, injuries took their toll and pushed him down the coaching route during his mid-twenties.
He was part of the coaching setups at South Sydney Rabbitohs and Cronulla Sharks, working under the likes of Michael Maguire, Shane Flanagan and Ricky Stuart.
He’s also coached his own team, the Mounties, to relative success in the NSW Cup.
The feedback received on him has been positive, and he’s played a major role in securing the signings of Cameron King, a former World Club Challenge winner, and Conor Carey.
He knows exactly what he wants from his players too.
“I’m very much about the team and players not putting themselves before their mate,” he said.
“For us at Featherstone, we’re coming together quite late so it will take its time, but so long as we’re working hard for each other, that’s what we can control. I want us to be a good, humble team, competing 100% every single week and buying into what the jersey is and respecting those who have worn it before.
“I used to play halfback so I like to throw the ball around, but if you’re going to win, more often than not you have to be a good defensive team. I’ve done my trade under a lot of NRL coaches and that’s what they’ve taught me.
“I’ve picked the brains of a lot of good people but at the same time you have to be your own coach with your own niche too, that’s my plan here.”
Carr’s new-look side will get their first thorough examination at Bradford on Sunday, in one of the most intriguing games of the weekend.
Fev’s appointment is definitely a gamble, but one that could pay off.