TONY Smith hopes to take Hull KR to the next level before leaving – but this will not be his final crack at glory.
The Rovers boss is on his way from Craven Park at the end of the season after admitting he has not been able to influence certain areas as much as he would like.
One thing he has changed, though, is onfield performance and after going to Super League's semi-final last year, reaching the Challenge Cup final by beating Huddersfield tomorrow would be the next progression.
But despite having coached in Super League for 21 years and not having anywhere for 2023 lined up, though, this is not a last hurrah. It also means nothing will change.
Smith said: “I certainly hope it isn’t, in all sorts of ways. For both later on this season and also the future.
“I’ve been asked a few times, ‘Does me leaving make this more significant?’ Not at all. I’m always charged with trying to prepare my team as best as I can, whether I’m coach for the next 20 years or not.
“My job is exactly the same and I’ll go about it in the same way, always.
“It’s a big day for the club, we want to play in semi-finals – both in the cup and hopefully in the league later in the year.
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“We got a taste last year but didn’t quite handle the occasion. It was probably a game too far for us but it was a good experience, even though it was a bad one!
“It exposed some players to semi-final rugby league and for some of our younger guys, this is another experience of that but we hope to make a better fist of it this year.
“I hope the club has developed from last year. I’d like to think we’re in a better place.”
Smith has been there, seen it and done it over the course of his coaching career.
Leading England at the 2008 World Cup, winning Super League and the World Club Challenge with Leeds and the Challenge Cup with Warrington.
Several things have changed – rules, players, administrations – but the biggest difference can be in just 140 characters, social media.
And the effects can go a lot further than just closing a laptop and ignoring what a star has read about them.
Smith added: “The job’s changed, society’s changed. Largely to do with social media, that has a big influence on both society and platers.
“Some of it has an effect and can affect individuals. I observe and understand how people’s moods change when there are opinions given about them, often without merit or without knowing the person.
“We make judgments very quickly and easily – that’s some of the dangers.
“You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes with some people and what can affect their performances or how they are.
“It’s dangerous stuff but something that’s not going to go away.”
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