Richo's Letter to Members

Just a few thoughts before the start of the season.

Firstly, Happy New Year.

Our recruitment strategy has been very simple upon my return from the NRL. It is the same strategy used in the lead up to the 2012 season.

Firstly, we needed to get the culture and the demographics of our squad right. We were able to blood many young players leading up to and beyond 2012. Johnston, Walker, Keary and Tom and George Burgess to name a few. This gave great enthusiasm to the team and enhanced a quality group of senior players. Michael Maguire, to his credit, was able to mould that team into a premiership side. These players believed in the Club and what it stood for.

Somehow we lost our way post-2014. We recruited short-term fixes and our performance deteriorated. From the end of 2016, we set upon a path of getting back to the basics of what had made us successful;

  1. Quality Coaching
  2. Quality Structure
  3. Culture building (Rabbitoh Way)
  4. Recruiting quality young players to come under a quality leadership group

Members need to understand that the salary cap is not "Fantasy Football". It is never as simple as what you want, but rather what you can afford under the cap. This is not a whinge; we are never interested in what other clubs do in managing their caps. We can't control their caps.

I am not interested in complaining in the press about the state of our cap to get sympathy around the team's performance, and neither are you, the Members.

We have had our fair share of challenges over the last three years. We have lost players we never wanted to lose, but the reality is that success leads to increased player wage demands, and so it should.

It is our job to look to the future and plan so that we can remain strong every year.

So, where are we in 2019?

  1. We have the demographics right. We have blooded many talented young players to be moulded into the best leadership group in the NRL.
  2. We have the most storied Coach in the history of the game.
  3. We have six current test players, including two players who are current or future captains of their countries.
  4. We have the best depth chart since 2014.
  5. We have a team who loves this Club and will compete every weekend.
  6. We are building the best High Performance and Community Centre in the game.
  7. We are Premiership Contenders.

There will always be tough decisions that have to be made. We will never shy away from decisions that we feel are in the best interests of this great Club.

Enjoy the season ahead. I know I am.

From Member 27081 to the other 30,000.

Shane Richardson
General Manager of Football
South Sydney Rabbitohs

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