BY any objective measure, Simon Woolford’s first year in charge at the Queanbeyan Blues could only be considered a success.
Honoured earlier this week as the Canberra Raiders Cup coach of the year, Woolford has guided the Blues to both the minor premiership and Sunday’s grand final against the Queanbeyan Kangaroos.
But Woolford himself is well aware that sporting success is never judged in such an objective fashion.
And he is under no illusions that the success or failure of his first season at Seiffert Oval would be judged, fairly on not, largely on just 80 minutes of football.
“Come Sunday, no one cares that we finished top of the table or how many wins we had,” he said. “The only thing people care about is the result on Sunday and that’s just the reality of it.
“We’re pleased by what we’ve been able to achieve this season but I won’t be patting myself on the back before Sunday and I know the players won’t be either.”
Woolford acknowledged taking on such a high profile coaching position with the traditional competition heavyweights carried with it an inherent expectation of success.
Woolford’s predecessor Adam Doyle was told his services would no longer be required despite taking the side to the finals – including the grand final in 2011 – in both of his two years in charge.
“Of course that pressure’s there,” Woolford said.
“It’s no secret the Blues are able to attract really good players but at the end of the day we took some risks this year. We let a few players go and brought a fair few new players in.
“There’ll probably only three or four players in our grand final team on Sunday who were there last year.
“You look at our list and we’ve got three rugby union converts, one’s finished the season as leading point scorer [Craig Wilkinson] and one’s finished as leading try scorer [Tyler Stevens].
“So it’s amazing how well the team has been able to gel.”