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Maguire gets advice from Sir Alex

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has revealed a secret weapon for his debut season in the NRL - a friendship with Manchester United supremo Sir Alex Ferguson.
Maguire gets advice from Sir Alex
by NRL

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, Feb 17 AAP - South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has revealed a secret weapon for his debut season in the NRL - a friendship with Manchester United supremo Sir Alex Ferguson.

During his two-year stint coaching Wigan in the English Super League, Maguire was put in contact with the legendary English Premier League manager and met with Ferguson on numerous occasions.

The pair would sit down and discuss all things coaching, with Ferguson even asking Maguire if he could address the Wigan players before their Challenge Cup league final at Wembley.

Maguire's Warriors beat Leeds in the Cup final, adding to the Super League title they won under his guidance the previous season.

The Rabbitohs' new man is a student of rugby league and sports coaching and says his time with Ferguson, one of the most respected coaches in history, was invaluable.

It wasn't just a one-way street either; Ferguson was keen to pick Maguire's brain about his philosophies and plans.

"There was a bit of toing and froing, he was very open which was great," said Maguire, who was put in contact with Ferguson by Wigan's strength and conditioning coach.

"I got a hell of a lot out of it. I probably can't pinpoint one area but just listening to him and the icons and the personalities he's coached over his career, it was great to see how he handled the players he had.

"I asked if I could talk to him and it came about like that. I managed to meet him one day and decided to give him a call and go back once again and he was an open door really with his time.

"He said he would like to talk to the players if we went to Wembley."

Maguire, who served his apprenticeship at Melbourne under Craig Bellamy, said he hadn't thought about how the two highly-regarded coaches from different hemispheres and different codes compared.

The 38-year-old said his experiences in England have been an ideal grounding for his first pre-season in charge of an NRL team.

"I try and take a lot out of a lot of different things in your walks of life so it was just a good experience," he told AAP.

"I hope it's going to help me in the years ahead."


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