Brian McDermott believes Toronto Wolfpack can change the face of Rugby League after being unveiled as their new head coach.
McDermott, Super League’s most successful ever coach, has returned to the sport to coach the Wolfpack five months after being sacked by Leeds, where he won four Grand Finals in eight seasons.
The proposition of coaching the Canadian club is an entirely different proposition for the 48-year-old. However, he envisages being able to enjoy further success at the top of the sport with the Trans-Atlantic club in the future, despite them currently being in the Championship.
“We’ll crack on with a view of getting into Super League, we want to be in Super League, that’s a fact, but I want more than that, I think it’s credible that Toronto can go and win the Grand Final in Super League.
“Some things have to happen and some big decisions have to be made and some performances have to be put in there, but if you’re asking me if that can happen, for sure. That’s why we’re here, that’s why I’m here.
“I don’t think I’m dropping down a division, I don’t see it like that. This is something different, this takes some real coaching.
“In my time at London, I think I’m really qualified to coach Toronto. I’ve always said and maintained some of my best coaching went on at London, some of the best decisions I made and some of the things you have to do and hours you have to work are incredible, but then that team goes and gets beat at the end of the week and nobody writes about it. I reckon that version of coaching will have to be employed at Toronto, which is way above and beyond anything I might have done at certain periods at Leeds.
“I’ll face more challenges and coaching at a level that I don’t think Super League will get for parts of the season. I genuinely don’t think I’m stepping down.”
Following his departure from Leeds, the former London Broncos head coach admitted questioning his desire to return to coaching. However, he revealed the prospect of helping build the sport and taking on the unique challenge was too good to turn down.
“You go through a period like when the girlfriend finishes with you, she was never that pretty anyway. You go through that period where you don’t really want to coach again and I did that for about ten days, but in reality, this enforced break has made me realise I’m a Rugby League coach.
“I’ve done a few other bits and bats to keep me busy but it’s confirmed to me what I’m good at what I enjoy. I was going to get into it at some stage and with all the statements I’ve just made now if nobody else was coming in for me, I’d coach anybody at some stage because you’ve got to pay the bills. I’m fortunate Toronto have selected me.
“I’m really excited about coaching a club that could change the face of the game and the sport in the UK. I think there’s only one other coach in Super League that could say if they won the league it would change the face of the game.”