Darth Maul (Gary Hetherington) should be knighted. Yes, that is a dramatic way to start this weeks column but after much thinking about what has happened in the past fortnight at Headingley, we can be sure that life is never dull in north-west Leeds.
Now I'm not saying that Gary is directly behind Bluey leaving, however, a lot has changed in the past few weeks. People leaving from behind the scenes, two assistant coaches going, a hooker leaving to join our arch local rivals and the bizarre (in my opinion) situation of having a press conference with the out-going head coach and new one at the same (again, maybe me reading too much into it).
Every business needs to sort out its product and company structure once in a while, give it a spring clean, update the product life cycle to keep it fresh, and so on.... 'Now', I hear you ask 'But Mr X, this side has won trophy’s the last 6 seasons etc...', 'but the side has changed coaches once in 6 seasons', and 'the main nucleus of side remained more or less the same'. There are many times I have thought our half-back combination has been found out by rival sides as we haven't really changed it, or our hooker has had the same style for so many years etc.
It seems horrible to think but this really could be the end of our 'golden era'. This is definitely not a bad thing in my eyes as a bit of a break from winning things will do us a heap of good and get ourselves steady and ready with the next batch of kids to take over. After all Kevin Sinfield may be invincible to us but his playing days are running down very quickly.
Signing these kids up, like Darth has done for the past few seasons, is setting our stall out for the next 5+ seasons. The worrying calls from some of our fans of the death of the Academy seems premature in my eyes. Yes this season was poor, however, give the kids a chance and I'm sure they will step up.
Yes, it might by worrying time with players leaving etc... however, Darth knows what he's doing and he is using Caddick’s wealth wisely (I hope). After all do you remember what the club was like the year or two before Darth & Caddick took over? Yes, it wasn't pleasant!
When Sir Alan gets bored of The Apprentice, maybe Darth could step up for the role... Mr X