Wolfpack aiming for homegrown stars – in the long term

Brian McDermott was typically insightful when asked about Toronto’s plans to develop their own players.

One of the biggest criticisms aimed at the Wolfpack since their arrival has been the lack of Canadian players in their team.

This year’s squad featured no homegrown talent, but McDermott rubbished the idea that Toronto should have Canadian nationals playing for their team, and warned not to expect any in the near future.

“You can ask that, but I don’t think you give that enough thought,” McDermott said when asked if the club had a responsibility to produce its own players.

“How long do you think it is going to take us to produce a player ready for Super League? Have we started that process? For sure. I might be dead in 15 years, I’m at the wrong end, I’m a bit older than you. But for sure, I love developing the game.

“But I will tell you that it’s going to take longer than 15 years to get a kid who is nine and coach him up, see him through a pathway, fund that pathway and give him all levels of coaching so he’s ready for Super League level.

“People like Danny McGuire and Luke Gale came through a system which made them hone their skills because the bottleneck they had to get through was tighter. We’re going to start coaching and producing kids ourselves and our aim is to do it to such massive numbers that it’s a tight bottleneck as well.

“To answer your question, sure, we’ll do that. I don’t think the club should try and wait with bated breath for any of those kids to come through.

“For sure there’s a responsibility for us to coach kids, I don’t think we need to do it, but we will do it to grow the game.”
McDermott also revealed that several people have spoke to him about setting up community clubs in Canada.

“I reckon about 20 blokes have pulled me to one side after a game and told me they’re thinking of setting a team up and asked if I could help.

“To every one of them I’ve given them contact details, they can come talk to me, visit me in training, watch our sessions, talk to my assistants. We will go to their clubs and give as much help as possible.”