Having met him, Woosha is definitely a healer, I like the way he talks up all his players and is respectful to everybody. He managed transitioning a lot of young guys into being senior players last year while respectfully transitioning out the "top ups" and other older players with honour and tapping their knowledge and experience in on field coaching roles.
He has never wavered from welcoming back all the players who wanted to come back and respected those that didn't. He has let the older players know that they won't get a free ride and of the need to progress the younger players, all other things being equal, as he must.
We all of a sudden seem to have a functional forward line and we have developed more backline players and we are also developing our midfield, and we have unprecedented depth in our list. Now the rubber hits the road with how well he can get this side to gel and perform at the highest level. This is obviously the biggest and most important test, but the fact that we are not a back biting rabble who lost all our star players is testament enough to him so far.
It is not about a comparison to Hird, it is about who was the best coach for the post Hird era. The fact that he managed the unexpectedly severe suspensions so well and appears to have the list in as good a shape as could be hoped for in the circumstances is testament enough.
Now whether he proves to be the new Messiah or maybe a John the Baptist (the one who paves the way for Him), doesn't really matter, either would be a good outcome and remarkable enough given where we were when he arrived.
My feeling is that he is either one or the other, and with the support of his assistants, recruiters and administrators I think we were very fortunate he was available when we needed him most and not many others could have done as good a job.
That said we are about to find out where we are at for real, and need to reserve judgement given a lot of gelling needs to occur, and it would seem a functional midfield is where we will feel the most growing pains initially, especially with Leuey going down. I suspect we will be in a reasonable place by about 6 games in (injuries permitting), that said our backs and forwards have work to do too, with whether Hooker is a success as a forward and if that compensates sufficiently his absence down back is a key question.
But I digress, if this year gets us mid table or better with good development in the younger players I think Woosha continues to be a success.