18th January 2018, 19:42 | 

McDermott still has plenty to give

McDermott still has plenty to give

Brian McDermott insists he is as motivated as ever as he embarks on his eighth season as Leeds Rhinos head coach, a job he has no intention of giving up anytime soon.

The 47-year-old is the most successful coach in the Super League era after guiding the Rhinos to a fourth Grand Final win in seven years in 2017.

McDermott has also led Leeds to two Ladbrokes Challenge Cup victories, a World Club Challenge success and the League Leaders’ Shield in the 2015 treble-winning season.

But despite describing his side’s 24-6 triumph over Castleford Tigers at Old Trafford in October as his best ever, he was clear that motivation will never be an issue.

“You’re asking a coach that’s won a few things since I’ve been here yet, interestingly, gets threatened with the sack every year,” said McDermott. “That’s what motivates me.

“I know the landscape is so volatile that just because we won last year doesn’t mean that it’s going to be any easier this year.

“I’m motivated to be good this year because I know if I’m not, people will be chopping our legs off and not letting us be as good as we can be. 

“There’s a real sense of urgency about the group, whether you’ve won two or three Grand Finals or none. Because if you’re not, it’s a horrible place to be.

“Whether you’re losing a game or go on a losing run, I don’t want to be involved in that.

“My motivation is a number of things: one of them is money and another would be the euphoria of winning things.

“But I don’t mind admitting that the fear of failure and being down those bottom echelons makes you put things in place in pre-season that will make you good during the season.”

McDermott became Betfred Super League’s longest-serving coach when Tony Smith left Warrington Wolves at the end of last season and he has not ruled out becoming the competition’s answer to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

“This is my eighth year at Leeds and I love my job and love being at Leeds,” said McDermott.

“I was saying this in 2016, I love all the challenges that year brought, which was our worst season ever.

“I get tested and the players get tested at the peak, right at the coalface.

“There’s cameras everywhere we go and every time we lose, the media room is not empty, we get asked all sorts of questions.

“What that means is we’ve got to be good every single week, and that’s a real challenge and excites you.

“All people will say they want to be as good as they can be but then the environment I’m going to drop you into, you need to be as good as you can be or you’ll end up in the middle eights.

“That’s a real harsh yet very rewarding environment to work in.

“It excites me to death, so I’ll hopefully be doing this job for a few more years.”