Ivan Cleary

Last updated

Ivan Cleary
Ivan Cleary.jpg
Personal information
Born (1971-03-01) 1 March 1971 (age 50)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height182 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight89 kg (14 st 0 lb)
Playing information
Position Fullback, Centre
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1992–93 Manly Sea Eagles 158500132
1994–95 North Sydney 37155070
1996–99 Sydney Roosters 81293030722
2000–02 New Zealand Warriors 53121951439
Total1866455311363
Coaching information
Club
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
200611 New Zealand Warriors 1648138049
201215 Penrith Panthers 984505546
201718 Wests Tigers 431802542
2019 Penrith Panthers 654811874
Total370192417852
Representative
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
2015 Prime Minister's XIII 1100100
As of 3 June 2021
Source: [1] [2]

Ivan Cleary (born 1 March 1971) is an Australian professional rugby league coach who is the head coach of the Penrith Panthers in the NRL and a former professional rugby league footballer who played as a fullback and centre in the 1990s and 2000s.

Contents

He is a former head coach of the Wests Tigers, New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers in the National Rugby League. As a player, Cleary was a goal-kicking fullback who played club football in Australia and New Zealand, setting a new record for most points scored in a season during the 1998 NRL Premiership.

Early life

Cleary was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He grew up in the Sydney Northern Beaches' suburb of Beacon Hill and attended Beacon Hill High School. [3]

Playing career

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Originally a goal-kicking fullback, Cleary was a Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles junior before moving to play Reserve Grade with the Sea Eagles in 1992 and 1993. He started his first grade career with the Sea Eagles in 1992 playing two games before getting his chance after the team's first choice fullback Matthew Ridge suffered a season-ending injury in mid-1993. Cleary filled the fullback spot and also proved himself an accurate goal-kicker, filling in for Ridge on both counts and helping Manly to 4th place and a finals berth where they were bundled out 4-16 by the Brisbane Broncos in the Qualifying Final.

In his 15 first grade games for Manly, Cleary scored 8 tries and kicked 50 goals (from 71 attempts for 70.4%) for a total of 132 points. [4]

North Sydney Bears

With Ridge set to return in 1994 Cleary signed with Manly's local rivals the North Sydney Bears for 1994 and 1995 seasons where he mainly played in the centres due to the emergence of fullback Matt Seers. [5] He also was the team's 2nd choice goal kicker behind Jason Taylor and in 37 games for the Bears he scored 15 tries but kicked only 5 goals (from 6 attempts) for a total of 70 points. [6]

Sydney Roosters

Cleary began playing for the Sydney City Roosters from seasons 1996 through to the 1999 season making 81 appearances for the tri-colours. In 1998, Cleary was The NRL top point scorer with 284 points. [7]

New Zealand Warriors

Cleary signed with the New Zealand Warriors for the 2000 season before the fullback retired at the end of the 2002 season following the warriors grand final loss. [8]

Coaching career

After leaving the Warriors Cleary originally intended to join the Huddersfield Giants in the Super League but instead retired to take up an opportunity to join the Sydney Roosters as the NSWRL Premier League coach. [9] In 2004 he coached the team to the Premiership.

New Zealand Warriors

Cleary coached New Zealand to the 2011 NRL grand final against Manly; they lost 24–10. In the following weeks, Cleary announced he was leaving to join Penrith. [10]

Penrith Panthers

Early season injuries and some poor form from the Penrith Panthers saw a tough start to Cleary's return to Sydney with Penrith sitting 15th after Round 19 of the 2012 NRL season with a 4-13 record. In 2014, Cleary took Penrith to the preliminary final before losing to Canterbury.

He was also named Dally M coach of the year in the same season. He was fired on 19 October 2015 after avoiding the wooden spoon with a final round victory over Newcastle. [11] [12] [13]

Wests Tigers

He was appointed as the coach of the Wests Tigers on 3 April 2017. [14] In Round 22 of the 2017 NRL Season, Cleary coached the Wests Tigers and coached against his son, Nathan Cleary who was playing for the Penrith Panthers in a losing effort by 28–14. In the 2018 season, Cleary guided Wests to a ninth-placed finish narrowly missing out on a finals spot. On 28 October 2018, the Wests Tigers released Cleary from the final two years of his contract. Cleary also sent a departing text message to the tigers playing group saying "G'day boys I hope this finds you well and enjoying your time off, I was writing to you in the hope of beating the press.. to let you know that I will no longer be your coach at Wests Tigers. "This is an extremely uncomfortable situation for me as I have genuine fondness for the club, and I have loved coaching you all.. I understand that this situation has caused some pain for people that I care about, along with putting the club in an awkward situation... I do not feel good about this. "I would have preferred to do this in person but time and circumstances have made that impossible. I hope we meet again soon and I wish you all the very best in the future. You have my number and I am always open for a chat if you wish. Iv." [15] [16]

Penrith Panthers (2)

On 29 October 2018, the Penrith Panthers confirmed the return of Ivan Cleary as head coach, on a 5-year deal, beginning in 2019. [17] Ivan linked with his son Nathan Cleary and began his second stint as head coach at the Penrith Panthers.

Cleary's second spell in charge at Penrith got off to a bad start with the club winning only 2 of their first 10 matches leaving the team bottom of the table. Penrith would then go on to win their next 7 games in a row leaving them just outside the finals places. In a must win game against the Sydney Roosters in round 24, Penrith lost the match 22-6 at the Sydney Cricket Ground which meant that the club would miss out on the finals series for the first time since 2015. [18]

In round 8 of the 2020 NRL season, Cleary coached Penrith to a 19-12 victory over the Wests Tigers. Following the full time siren, angry Wests fans shouted abuse at Cleary who was inside the coaches box. Cleary proceeded to wave and blow kisses at the Wests Tigers supporters. [19]

Following Penrith's 28-12 round 13 victory over Canberra in the 2020 NRL season, Cleary questioned the integrity of the referees in the post match press conference by saying he felt Canberra were managed back into the game by the officials. Cleary was later fined $20,000 for his comments. [20]

In round 19 of the 2020 NRL season, Cleary guided Penrith to victory over North Queensland 32-12 at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium. The win was Penrith's 14th in a row and also meant they had claimed the 2020 Minor Premiership, only the third time Penrith had done this in their history. On the 19 October, four years since being sacked as being head coach of the Panthers, Cleary was named Dally M Coach of the Year for the second time for his efforts of Penriths 2020 season. [21]

Cleary guided Penrith to the 2020 NRL Grand Final on the back of a 17 game unbeaten streak. In the final, Penrith's opponents were Melbourne who raced out to a 22-0 lead. Penrith fought their way back into the game during the second half but lost the grand final 26-20. [22]

Statistics

Ivan Cleary – coaching results by season
TeamYearGamesWinsDrawsLossesWin %Finals
NZL 2006 241201250%Finished 10th (out of 15)
NZL 2007 261311252%Lost 2007 NRL Semi Final against North Queensland Cowboys
12—49
NZL 2008 271501256%Lost 2008 NRL Preliminary Final against Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
6—32
NZL 2009 24721533%Finished 14th (out of 16)
NZL 2010 251401156%Lost 2010 NRL Qualifying Final against Gold Coast Titans
16—28
NZL 2011 281601257%Lost 2011 NRL Grand Final against Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
10—24
NZL1547737451%
PEN 2012 24801633%Finished 15th (out of 16)
PEN 2013 241101346%Finished 10th (out of 16)
PEN 2014 261601062%Lost 2014 NRL Preliminary Final against Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
12—18
PEN 2015 24901538%Finished 11th (out of 16)
WST 2017 19601332%Finished 14th (out of 16)
WST 2018 241201250%Finished 9th (out of 16)
WST431802542%
PEN 2019 241101346%Finished 10th (out of 16)
PEN 2020 23201289%Lost 2020 NRL Grand Final against Melbourne Storm
20—26
PEN 2021 17150288%Current Season 2nd (out of 16)
PEN1629017156%
Career359185417052%

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References

  1. Shawn Dollin and Andrew Ferguson (18 October 2015). "Ivan Cleary". Rugbyleagueproject.com.
  2. Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Ivan Cleary - Summary - Rugby League Project". Rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  3. Ritchie, Dean (29 September 2011). "Warriors coach Ivan Cleary grew up in Manly heartland". PerthNow . News Corp Australia . Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  4. Shawn Dollin and Andrew Ferguson (19 October 2015). "Custom Match List". Rugbyleagueproject.org.
  5. "Ivan Cleary on Nathan Cleary and returning as an NRL coach". Nrl.com. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  6. Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Custom Match List - Rugby League Project". Rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  7. "Ivan Cleary's rugby league career". Sbs.com.au. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  8. "Ivan Cleary bids early farewell to Warriors". Stuff.co.nz. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  9. Warriors coach Ivan Cleary - who is he really? Sunday Star-Times, 21 September 2008
  10. "Michael Brown: Warriors must retain grand final team". Nzherald.co.nz. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  11. "Penrith Panthers axe coach Ivan Cleary after NRL season of struggle". ABC News.
  12. Press, Australian Associated (19 October 2015). "Anthony Griffin in running to replace sacked Penrith coach Ivan Cleary". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  13. "Cleary named NRL Coach of the Year". Nrl.com. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  14. "Wests Tigers announce Cleary as head coach". Nrl.com. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  15. https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/10/27/ivan-cleary-texts-farewell-message-to-wests-tigers-players/
  16. https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/ivan-cleary-slammed-benny-elias-wests-tigers-penrith-panthers/527524aa-29b4-4322-9b72-28b18222c570
  17. "Cleary appointed Panthers head coach". Penrith Panthers. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  18. "Panthers torch $3 million in dud investments … to go backwards". Fox Sports.
  19. "Brisbane lose to warriors sharks panthers post wins". abc.net.au.
  20. "NRL fines Ivan Cleary $20000". nrl.com.
  21. "Penrith scored a try for the ages. What's scary is how easy they made it look". foxsports.com.au.
  22. "Melbourne Storm beat Penrith Panthers as it happened". theguardian.com.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Cameron Ciraldo (caretaker)
2018
Coach
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
Penrith Panthers

2019-present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Andrew Webster (caretaker)
2017
Coach
Wests Tigers colours.svg
Wests Tigers

2017-2018
Succeeded by
Michael Maguire
2019-present
Preceded by
Coach
Flag of Lebanon.svg
Lebanon

2017
Succeeded by
Brad Fittler
2017
Preceded by
Steve Georgallis
2011
Coach
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
Penrith Panthers

2012-15
Succeeded by
Anthony Griffin
2016-2018
Preceded by
Tony Kemp
2004-2005
Coach
Auckland colours.svg
New Zealand Warriors

2006-2011
Succeeded by
Brian McClennan
2012
Preceded by
Mick Cronin
1978–1998
Record-holder
Most points in an NRL season

1998-2004
Succeeded by
Hazem El-Masri
2004–