Wigan coach Matt Peet says he feels there is a real sense of pride in the Warriors badge at the moment – for everyone – including players, staff and fans.
It has been a fine start to Peet’s career as head coach of his hometown club. He led the Warriors to Challenge Cup glory at the first time of asking.
But Peet says he and the first team are just a small part of a club that are creating something special – both on and off the field.
Wigan attracted a season-high attendance of more than 14,000 for their 40-6 demolition of Toulouse on Friday night.
He said: “I thought the atmosphere and the momentum that is building around the club at the moment.
“There’s a lot of facets to running a rugby league club and us as the first team are a part of it but we felt almost like we had no choice other than to perform (against Toulouse). There were upwards of 14,000 full of Wiganers.
“I feel privileged to be a part of it to be honest”
“I don’t know if you’ve been around the fan village or in and around the stadium pre-match at Robin Park, but there’s a lot of great things being done by the club at the moment, led by Kris (Radlinski, executive director) and Ian (Lenagan, owner).
“There’s a real sense of pride in the badge at the moment.
“The fan village takes five hours to set up, it is our training ground every other day. The community staff we have and the media department, everyone just mucks in and it is a team first mentality. It runs through our squad but I think it is spreading through the whole club. That’s what we want it to do and that is the vision of Kris and Ian.”
Matt Peet: The fans are the club
Peet has helped re-connect the club with its loyal fanbase since taking over the coaching reins.
And it was clear to see that there is positive energy surrounding the Cherry and Whites at the moment, like when youngsters are running up to the likes of Liam Byrne and Brad Singleton for high-fives when they’ve just been subbed after a big stint on the field.
Peet continued: “We talk about why they started playing rugby when they were kids and what they want the fans to think of them and what the fans mean to them.
“It is a two-way thing. You’ve got to interact and you can’t put yourself on a pedestal. The fans are the club.
“On the back of lockdown, I think being approachable can only benefit the club. The lads want to play for the fans and the fans want to support the team.
“For me, it is part of being a sportsman. If you want to play at this club you have to buy into the vision.
“I think I was a good fit because I think along the same lines as them and the players have to as well. If we are going to recruit and retain players, then they’ve got to have the right ethos first and foremost.”