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banner Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 23:09 GMT
Goodway plumps for home win
David Waite, GB coach
Can Waite do what Goodway could not?
BBC Sport's Dave Woods speaks to Andy Goodway, the coach who led Great Britain into battle against Australia in 1997.

The last man to lead Great Britain into an Ashes series against Australia is tipping David Waite's side to finally bring the Ashes back home.

Andy Goodway, coach of the 1997 British side that came close to grounding the Green and Golds, believes 2001 could finally prove to be the year of the Lions.

"It's the best chance we've had in a long time," he says.

"We've certainly got an excellent chance of winning the first test, and in a three match series that is obviously a very big advantage to take."

They expect to just turn up and win and that could be their undoing
Andy Goodway on the Australians
Goodway's side in 1997 lost the opener at Wembley, but then beat the Aussies in the second test at old Trafford in a rousing display, inspired by skipper Andy Farrell.

But the ultimate prize was snatched away when Australia came back to win the decider at a packed Elland Road.

This time he is hoping the script will be different.

"The Australians arrived late, and to fly in on a Tuesday and expect to win a match on the following Sunday shows a little bit of arrogance on their part.

Solid foundation

"They expect to just turn up and win and that could be their undoing.

"Britain on the other hand have had loads of preparation, starting the Origin game earlier in the summer, a Test match in France and the time spent in Spain.

"That never used to happen, and it will give them a very solid foundation to work on."

What David Waite will not want to do is centralise everything around Andy Farrell
Andy Goodway

But if Great Britain are to be successful, Goodway believes they cannot over rely on the Farrell factor.

Just as four years ago, the skipper will be the key to opening up the Australian defence, but the former coach is does not believe the Wigan player can do everything.

"He's only one of the keys. What David Waite will not want to do is centralise everything around Andy Farrell.

"Under me he played at 6, now he's back at 13, but when I coached him I told him it was just a number on his back and to go out and play his normal game.

"But Fazz is so determined to do well, and is so determined for his country to win, he sometimes takes on too much of the workload.


"It is up to the other senior players in the party, like Sculthorpe and Radlinski etc, to wrestle away some of the responsibility in the match.

"David Waite will be looking to focus the attack in as many different areas as possible, not just through Fazz."

Goodway has also given his backing to the decision to call up a number of untried youngsters into the GB squad, players like Paul King and Richard Horne of Hull.

The only problem we have with young players is that we only get one or two chances a year to blood them
Andy Goodway
"Why not, they're good enough," he says " The Aussies do it, and will play several young players of limited experience in their side, and there is no reason why Britain shouldn't work to the same model.

"If players have been playing in Super League week in and week out, and the coach thinks they are up to the challenge then nobody should doubt that.

"The only problem we have with young players is that we only get one or two chances a year to blood them, whereas the Australians have many more opportunities."

Goodway's tenure as GB coach ended under a cloud after the disappointing Tri-Nations series down under two years ago.

Then, Britain lost both matches against New Zealand and Australia, but he remains as passionate supporter of the GB team as ever.

"I won't be going to the match, but I'll be watching on the telly and of course I'll be as desperate as anyone for Britain to win.

" When I look back on my own time as GB coach I think there are some things I did well and I made some mistakes. But at least I tried and I always did my best in the job.

"But this is a new era now, and just like everyone else I'm hoping that it will be very successful. The game needs a successful Great Britain."

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