Todd Payten ready for new challenge

After two successful seasons in-charge of the Wests Tigers Under 20s side, Todd Payten will make the step up into the NRL level as an Assistant Coach for 2014.


Its a timely transition for Payten; with a group of exciting young players emerging into the top squad who have been coached under the former front-rower.


During Paytens first year as Under 20s Coach, his side reaches the ultimate goal taking out the 2012 premiership against Canberra.


Seven players from that team now feature in the 2014 top 33 squad, as well as 2013 Under 20s stars Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses.


Payten said his strong relationship with the younger squad members would be an advantage as they develop into the NRL players.


I have a strong relationship with a lot of those guys and I know their strengths and weaknesses, Payten said.


They have got a big six months ahead of them with pre-season and the ball is going to be in their court and there is certainly opportunities available.


Hopefully a lot of those guys will realise and understand whats ahead of them and what can be achieved.





With Brooks starring in his debut NRL match last season against the Dragons, Payten stressed the importance of being patient with the young halfback and not placing too much pressure on him for immediate results.


Everyone knows the ability the kid has got but its a different thing playing 26 weeks of first grade at 18 years old and having to lead the side around, Payten said.


We are going to come up against opposition sides who are well aware of what he is capable of and they are going to target him a bit more.


I just really hope from a spectator and Membership point of view that we are willing to give him enough time to find his feet and build this team around him.


With a new-look coaching staff on board for 2014, Payten is excited for the new era beginning at the Club alongside Head Coach Mick Potter and fellow Assistant David Kidwell.


There is going to be a new feel to the place which is exciting in itself, Payten said.


On the back of what was not a great year last year, we are under a bit of pressure to achieve but Im very excited about what we have got in store with some of our kids coming through and our new recruits.


My role is working mainly with the middle guys, but just give them confidence and the know-how of when to call their plays and the awareness of when to do those things.