Laurie Daley celebrates NSW's Origin win with Anthony Watmough Photo: Jonathan Carroll
Blues coach Laurie Daley insists the desire to continue coaching NSW outweighed any interest in taking up a role as an NRL coach next year.
Fairfax Media understands there was plenty of interest from NRL clubs in Daley, however, the Origin-winning coach insists his priority was always to extend his contract with NSW over a potential club gig.
The NSWRL announced on Monday that Daley, who was contracted until the end of next series, was given a two-year contract extension after leading the Blues to their first series win since 2005.
During the build up to game three, Daley wouldn't speculate on his coaching future but after commiting to NSW until the end of 2017, the former Origin captain insists he was always going to stay on if he was wanted.
"My first preference was to always stay in this job and I made that clear that I wanted to stay in this job," Daley said.
"For me, I feel very privileged and honoured that the NSWRL have every faith and confidence in me. This was always my first preference. Once they knew I was keen and I knew they were keen, it was pretty easy to get it all done. It was more I wanted to get this done first. If I could do that, that would be my priority."
Daley has made huge inroads in just two years as coach since taking over from Ricky Stuart, making a number of changes to the culture and preparation of NSW.
He took all three camps to Coffs Harbour this year, a decision that proved to be a masterstroke for the NSW side. The NSWRL is in the process of finalising similar plans for next year.
While the result is the most important part of the job, Daley believes there is more to his role than just winning football games.
"I think overall the thing for me is to make sure that when I leave, that I leave it in better shape than when I got it in," Daley said. "We weren't too far off the money, we changed a few things and we want to continue to improve on where we can go. For me, that's the exciting part."
Daley said he was delighted to be in charge for the next three seasons, allowing him ample time to plan for a blue dynasty.
"It gives everyone an indication of where we're going and the plans for the future," he said. "We can continue to build on what we did this year. We know it's going to be tougher next year and they showed in game three what they're capable of.''
The Blues won the first two games of the series before losing the dead-rubber at Suncorp Stadium, but Daley knows Queensland will be a tougher obstacle to overcome next year.
"You look at their players at the moment, the way they are performing – Cherry-Evans, Thurston, Smith, Cronk, Inglis and Slater – they are all playing good footy," Daley said.
"The challenge is going to be there next year and it will be forever. You know the job is just beginning because they'll be a lot better next year. They'll be disappointed they lost this year."