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Amidst the usual press about refereeing performances, angry coaches and judicial reports the subject of player recruitment has been one of the standout issues of 2007. Almost all teams have attracted headlines regarding who they are going to discard and who they might be courting with the Panthers and, of course, the Knights attracting the most attention. As mentioned previously this trend is undoubtedly the result of the many coaching changes that took place in the previous off-season.
As is invariably the case, the media has focused on the teams that have made the most drastic and recent changes. The more drama surrounding the player movements, the greater the coverage.
But what about the teams that have formed a successful team based on who and how they have recruited? Unsurprisingly the current top four offer what could be considered to be an array of frameworks that all clubs would be wise to follow.
Melbourne- In researching this column one successful recruitment philosophy seemed to emerge: spend little and get you a lot. Despite losing big names over the past few seasons, the Storm has gained some great value out of players such as Jeff Lima and Garret Crossman. When you consider what contracts players such as Steve Turner, Greg Inglis and Ryan Hoffman would have been initially signed on for it makes you realise how valuable effective talent scouts are for NRL teams.
Manly- Different strategy but still effective. The Eagles regularly sign a big name player or two (Brent Kite, Matt Orford and Jamie Lyon) every season or so and back them up with some talented juniors. Manly are a great example of how to gradually phase in new talent, their recruitment has been a work in progress over the past three seasons and the coaching staff has ensured the