Opinion: Foran was worth it – even for just one season
OPINION: Kieran Foran's Warriors career lasting just one season is frustrating - but anyone who says it's been a waste of time is just plain wrong.
As we wait for official confirmation that Foran is Bulldogs-bound in 2018, there should be no shock.
How many times can a bloke say being a present part of his kids' life in Sydney is a top priority, before the message gets through? I'm a dad, and the concept of living in a different country than my young kids is something I wouldn't consider, no matter what money you're offering me.
Many fans and commentators are asking why bring him here in the first place if he was only likely to stay one season?
Let me put this to you. If you had the chance to get Sir Richard Branson to join your company or organisation, but for just a few months, would you say no because he wouldn't be there long term?
If Denzel Washington was available to fill in as your drama teacher for a fortnight, but wouldn't be able to finish the curriculum before he left, would you tell him thanks but no thanks?
Of course not. You'd relish the chance to spend time with the best, however long or short that would be.
Kieran Foran is the best five-eighth the Warriors will ever likely be able to recruit here. He is the blueprint of the type of playmaker they need in the number 6 jersey. Forgive the simplicity of this assessment, but it flat out sucks that he's almost certainly not going to play here next year.
But having him at Mt Smart gives a chance for his greatest assets to rub off on his current and soon- to-be-former teammates: his on-field professionalism, his ability to create space for his runners, his clear communication, commitment to running the ball hard at the defensive line and putting his body on the line in defence.
Those who play alongside him say they can see the difference he adds. The emphasis should be on them now lifting their game to his level and being able to keep it there without him. It's an attitude the club has been lacking, but even when Foran heads back to Oz, why can't the attitude stay?
And the money spent on bringing Foran here is worth it if for nothing else than as a mentor for Mafoa'aeata Hingano. If Foran wasn't here this year, Hingano would have been in the number 6 in a sink-or-swim season. But by 2018, he'll have had a full year picking the brain of one of the best in the game and witnessing first-hand how to manage a game.
I'd challenge anyone that says that's not in the best interests of Hingano or the club. The key now is to make sure they get Hingano and Johnson's signatures on contracts quick-smart.
If the Warriors can make the finals this year, it will set new standards within the club and make the playing group realise they're good enough to be there. That's still a long way off, but it's a hell of a lot more likely with Foran here.
I'm sure Foran was torn on staying at the club given the chance they've given him to rebuild his life. But that is what makes me confident he'll be doing everything he can to leave them in a better place than when he arrived. He owes the Warriors that at least.
Sam Ackerman is the Head of Sport at Newshub.