Craig Lingard: It’s an easy option for Super League clubs not to recruit me

Craig Lingard Batley Bulldogs SWpix
Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix

Championship Coach of the Year Craig Lingard is working his magic at Batley again but believes he is not fashionable enough for a Super League job.

The Bulldogs beat Featherstone at Post Office Road last Sunday to strengthen their play-off push for a shot at the big time.

But the unassuming head coach feels Super League won’t come knocking for him personally unless it is with Batley.

“I think some clubs think it’s easier to recruit somebody from Australia or a big name rather than somebody from Batley who has never been in a full-time environment and never played Super League,” Lingard told Love Rugby League.

“It’s an easy option for clubs not to recruit me, and I’m not particularly bothered. If this is my last job I’ll just move on to something else. My ambition is to be a better coach than I was player, I was an ordinary player, never good enough to play Super League but hopefully as a coach I can develop and get better.”

Person over player for Craig Lingard

Speaking on this week’s Love Rugby League Podcast, Lingard also discusses a recruitment policy that sees him hire players on character over skill set.

“Sometimes clubs recruit sides rather than teams. But you have to get the right people in, it’s person over player, they have to fit in,” he said.

“You spend a lot of time with individuals and you have to mould them into a group who want to be together and who, when the backs are against the wall, they will come out swinging for each other. That doesn’t always happen. 

“I insist on meeting every single person and looking them in the eye and let them look me in the eye across the table. If they sit in front of me and think ‘I don’t like this bloke he’s a crank’, then they know straight away they don’t want to work for me. There’s no point waiting until the first day of pre-season to sit and look at me and think he’s an absolute tool this bloke. Get it out of the way straight away.”

PODCAST: Craig Lingard on Championship recruitment rules, Batley & two divisions of 14?

LOVE RUGBY LEAGUE: All the latest news, Podcast, App & Fantasy RL

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