MATTY Peet is Wigan’s man to connect – and this isn’t just about visiting schools and posing for pictures.
The new Warriors boss knows the tough issues the club, its players and coaches should be dealing with while walking around his hometown.
Peet may not have the fanfare, he may not have a top track record but he has what many others don’t.
He’s a Wigan guy, he knows how the club can represent the town after being a schoolboy with starry eyes he knows what’s going on in the area.
And top of his list of goals is to make sure the Warriors play the same role in solving problems as the players solving opponents.
“I looked at the statistics after the course on mental health, homelessness, poverty, drug abuse and childhood obesity,” says Peet.
“We want to make a difference on big issues, not just opening envelopes and awarding prizes. We want to get into the hard stuff, and one thing players have mentioned is male suicide rates.
“Most know someone who was affected by that or one of the other issues. They saw it with their own eyes.
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“As long as I’m in charge, we’re going to disrupt the community cohesion side of things. That’s for us to promote that.
“Sports clubs in general may be more aware of the influence they have on their communities – and players have a lot to gain from that.
“It benefits them. Getting them out of their comfort zone, public speaking, communication skills, teamwork, by getting out there, loading the minibuses and meeting new people is almost like a team challenge.
“They have a greater sense of responsibility and connection with the fans. If they talk about fans but they’ve never met them, that’s a throwaway term.
“But the players themselves are coming up with ideas for charities they want to join.”
Peet hails from the Hindley area of Wigan and grew up idolizing the likes of Kelvin Skerrett as he watched from the rooftop of Central Park.
And the class of 2022 already knows about the stars of the glory days.
The frugal coach, who claims the only physical change was ‘my chair only moved about four meters’, added: “We need to use the past as fuel and harness it when We want to write our own story.
“It’s not just the teams that have won, the cleaners and staff over the years have all played a part in the club’s history – everyone has a part to play.
“Our new players from abroad and young people who played less than 10 games did a project recently where they presented to the rest of the team about players from our history.
“We want to have as many players from the past involved as possible – just come to Wigan with the same feeling as Wigan.
After Cade Cust arrives from Australia, Wigan’s team will focus on pre-season, with the exception of Bevan French.
The excellent full-back is committed to shining in the Super League in 2022 but the seriously ill mother on the other side of the world has more priority at the moment.
While the French deal with that, while training in New South Wales, Peet stays in regular contact – and without any pressure.
He told SunSport: “It’s a sensitive issue but I’m really comfortable and confident that we’re dealing with it in the right way.
“It’s about knowing there’s a young man at its center at the end of the day. It’s not nice at all.
“People ask me, ‘Do you have a date?’ Is not. He knows we’re here for him and even when he does, he’ll need support and won’t be in a hurry. “
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17102136/wigan_warriors_matty_peet_super_league/ Wigan boss Matty Peet wants the club to be part of the community