Scouting Stories: Chris Anderson
The head coach is probably your most important signing when you start a new club.
Melbourne Storm founder and inaugural CEO John Ribot knew that and knew he had to get it absolutely right if this crazy concept of rugby league in Melbourne was going to work.
Coaches may not score points or make tackles but their ability to instil a culture of success is paramount, especially for a new football club trying to prove itself.
Thankfully Ribot did not have to go knocking door to door to find anyone interested in taking the reigns, on the contrary, they knocked on his.
Ribot and Chris Anderson knew each other from back in 1982 when they toured together with the Australian Kangaroos as players.
15 years later they had both gone on to forge rather successful career for themselves.
In 1997 Anderson was at the peak of his coaching powers with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
He had taken the Dogs to back-to-back NSWRL Minor Premierships in '93 and '94 before an eventual ARL Premiership in '95.
Anderson knew what it took to win, which ticked the number one box on Melbourne Storm's list.
"Everything we did around the Club was about winning, we did not want to make up the numbers," Ribot said.
"When we were doing Super League (in 1997) Chris came to me and we had a chat about him coming down and he was keen to come down. That was not a hard sell.
"We had a bit of luck there, we just knew he was going to bring a brand of coaching to us that was going to be a foundation for us for many years to come."
Anderson subsequently signed on the dotted line and the rest is history.
He coached a total of four seasons in Melbourne, winning 33 of his first 47 games at the helm.
Most importantly he delivered on the Club's mandate of winning, taking Melbourne Storm to its maiden Premiership in just its second year of existence.
Anderson also did it in style.
Ironically, like the Storm side you see today, this team under Anderson was out to entertain as well as win.
"As a Club we wanted to play a brand of football that people could really get behind," Anderson said.
"We played a flat game, an aggressive game and I think that was something important to introduce to Melbourne, with the AFL it was a point of difference. We knew we had a team that was going to be competitive with that.
"Having those experienced guys there and Chris at the helm as the coach and to win a Premiership in just our second year, he was a major factor why we achieved that.
"Chris was fantastic for the Club."