ONE THING THE LEGENDARY St George coach Ken Kearney didn’t lack was confidence. He understood football as completely as any leader in the history of the game, applying the wisdom he’d learned while playing in England to build a red-and-white juggernaut. As he explained in Never Before, Never Again, the discipline he insisted on and the pride that came from it was the bedrock on which the Dragons’ dominance was built …
‘My job was to make sure we kept winning and that we were a harmonious team, and this meant dealing with conflicts and making sure the boys were playing to the best of their ability. It involved devising the right tactics and making sure they were carried out.
‘I made them follow my instructions to the letter in games. If my tactics got us beaten, I’d cop the blame. But if they didn’t follow my instructions and we lost, then I’d blame them. I knew the ins and outs of every player in the competition, so I could tell my blokes exactly the way to approach each match, who of the opposition players were dangermen and weak links, whether they’d play it in the forwards or the backs, or had a fullback who’d kick the leather off the ball.
‘Results show I wasn’t often wrong.’