Elliott's hard edge erases Glenn's doubts
"I had a little concern whether he [Elliott] would mesh with the Polynesian psyche" ... Glenn. Photo: Getty Images
WARRIORS co-owner Owen Glenn has admitted he had his doubts on the ability of new coach Matt Elliott to get the best out of the side's Polynesian playing base.
The Sydney-based Kiwi millionaire also targeted a top-eight finish for the Warriors for this year and also ruled out a run at former All Black Sonny Bill Williams after his one-year contract with the Roosters is up.
Glenn, who bought into the Warriors alongside Eric Watson last March, infamously joked at last year's press conference to unveil Elliott at Mt Smart Stadium that he hadn't heard of the former Raiders and Panthers coach only weeks before.
Since then Glenn has had the opportunity to watch Elliott put his mark on the Warriors side through their gruelling pre-season.
He has been impressed, but concedes he had some concerns whether the Australian might struggle to ''mesh'' with the side's Polynesians; even hinting at teething issues for Elliott.
''I like the way he does things, and like how he's bought discipline back into the ranks,'' Glenn said. ''I had a little concern whether he would mesh with the Polynesian psyche - but I've convinced myself that it's the Polynesian psyche that needs to mesh with him, and it has.''
Following the axing of Brian McClennan last August, Elliott was brought in to head up a new-look Warriors coaching set-up. Glenn believes the new team have transformed the Warriors into ''strong contenders'' and has targeted a top-eight finish for the team this season.
''I think they'll make the top eight,'' he said. ''I'd like to see them win it, but somewhere in between has to be acceptable from the low ebb we went to last year.
''I think we'll give it a nudge this year, and if we don't manage to make it this year, I certainly think we'll be strong contenders. We've got the right coaching staff, that's the key.''
The NRL is set for an increase to the salary cap in 2014.
The Warriors still sit well below the salary cap, Glenn confirmed, opening debate whether the club could be set to make a run at one of the NRL's big-name free agents, such as Jonathan Thurston or Williams, at the end of this season.
Glenn would not be drawn into discussions about potential signings, but said that it would be unlikely Williams, regardless of how he goes for the Roosters, would head to Mt Smart Stadium. ''He's a great athlete, and he brings a bit of glamour to it all, but I'm more concerned with the next players coming up,'' he said. ''Let's find some more Sonny Bills. We don't want to pick up guys that are reaching the end of their career.''