Warriors Name Four More
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Warriors Name Four More
Momentum Builds With One-On-One Negotiations
Auckland, New Zealand, 2 November 2000 – New
Zealand Warriors coach Daniel Anderson, today named four
more players as the club builds up its roster for the 2001
Players who have reached agreement with the club include heavy hitting forward, Mark Tookey, rising star second rower, Wairangi Koopu, and all-round Australian utility back, David Myles and stand off, Cliff Beverley.
Anderson, who has been leading negotiations over the last week, is confident of filling out the club’s roster: “Adding these players to the eight named last week means we now have the nucleus of a good team and are in a much stronger position than we were seven days ago. The players understand that we’re making fair offers and accept the principle of performance-based contracts. They recognise that we’re bringing fresh ideas into the club and can see that we are already developing a structure that will allow them to focus on their game.”
“Because players are spread across New Zealand, Australia and at the World Cup I’m spending up to eighteen hours a day on the phone. The ones we are now getting into serious discussions with include Logan Swann, Ali Lauitiiti, Robert Mears, Scott Pethybridge, Jason Death, Odell Manual, Ivan Cleary, and Joe Vagana.
“Momentum is beginning to build and we are making good progress in direct negotiations with the players we want. For several days our offers were blocked by one agent in particular, but the log jam began to shift once we managed to talk directly to players. They’ve been surviving on a diet of misinformation and once they saw what we were offering we’ve had very positive reactions.
General Manager Mick Watson said that for much of the past week the blocking of direct communication with players meant that some offers had not been presented for consideration.
“You’d hope that base salary offers in excess of $200,000 per year for three years would be put in front of the players,” he said. “But it hasn’t been the case. For example, it wasn’t until yesterday that we were finally able to put a seven figure offer before Joe Vagana yesterday – over $1 million in base salary over three years. That’s a generous offer by any standards, with win and playoff bonuses on top. We’re well aware that he has other offers to consider, but until we contacted him directly he had no idea what we were prepared to pay.”
Said Warriors forward Mark Tookey, “I’m rapt to be signed with the Warriors, and I’m really looking forward to getting back into training next week and to getting stuck in next season.”