Roy Masters (sport)

Roy Masters (sport)

Roydon (Roy) Masters is a well-known Australian rugby league football coach, sports administrator and sports journalist. He is currently a sports columnist at the "Sydney Morning Herald". He was originally a school teacher with an interest in team psychology. Masters is the son of author and journalist Olga Masters and brother of prominent media notables including current affairs journalist Chris Masters.

Football coach

Masters began his career coaching at the Western Suburbs Rugby League Football Club (The Magpies) in the New South Wales Rugby Football League on 1978. He was appointed even though he had no experience as a professional player. He re-built the Magpies, who had been in decline they suffered after the three successive grand final losses to St George in 1961-63. He coached the Magpies to a minor premiership in 1979 and they were consistently high quality during this period. Many acclaimed players were produced under his tutelage including Les Boyd and Tommy Raudonikis.

Masters was a master of psychology, famously terming the Western Suburbs the "fibros" (a type of asbestos sheeting commonly used in houses in the area) as opposed to Manly (The Sea Eagles), whom he described as the "silvertails". This reflected both the socio-economics of the respective Sydney suburbs, and the financial situations of the clubs. He created this term after an exhibition match in Melbourne. The Sea Eagles stayed at a luxury resort whilst Wests were at a two star hotel. Masters left Wests when it emerged that the Magpies' affiliated leagues club at Ashfield would no longer be able to support the incomes of his key "fibros" players.

Masters moved on to St George in 1982, reaching the Grand Final in 1985 but lost. Masters is regarded as the finest coach to have never won a premiership because he was seemingly able to help financially struggling clubs to perform above their ability.

In September 2004 Masters was named as coach of the Western Suburbs Magpies team of the century.


Masters is a columnist at the Sydney Morning Herald, [] and also appears on the ABC-TV sports panel show "Offsiders".

Masters did not support Super League when it emerged in 1995 and is well-known for his support for rugby league traditions. He is also respected for his analytical skill, and is highly regarded by current players, a rarity for a member of the media. [] Masters also covers soccer, boxing and a variety of other sports, famously criticising American jingoism at the opening ceremony of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.

He is a strong supporter of John O'Neill, the Australian Rugby Union chief executive (and former Football Federation Australia CEO) (FFA; national soccer body) who led the federation to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, Masters has criticised FFA chairman Frank Lowy in a series of articles detailing Australian soccer's financial problems, in spite of the Socceroos' success at the World Cup. He questioned whether Lowy, Australia's second richest man, would repay an Australian Sports Commission loan of over A$3 million, to help develop a national league. In a letter to the "Sydney Morning Herald", Lowy questioned Masters' journalistic credibility, saying among other things that Masters was a "Rugby League commentator". Masters then revealed that his great uncle James "Judy" Masters was a former captain of the Australian national team. []

External links

* [ Roy Masters at]

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