Hervey Bay Seagulls unveil new A-grade men's coach
A DESIRE to develop local talent landed Alan Ezzy the top coaching job at Hervey Bay Seagulls.
Ezzy returns to Stafford Park after a successful single season stint at Maryborough Brothers, with whom he won the Bundaberg Rugby League reserve grade premiership.
As he sat next to club president Brendan Bowers at Seagulls HQ yesterday afternoon, Ezzy reiterated the club's developmental focus and philosophy.
"I know there's a lot of talk about players who have left, and I say good luck to them, people move for their own reasons, but that creates opportunity for young Seagulls players to play A-grade," Ezzy said.
Those young players, including the likes of Lachie Jackson and Jayden Shepherd, who played 10 and four A-grade games respectively in 2017, are among those with whom Ezzy worked when he coached the Seagulls' under-18s to the 2016 decider.
They fell to Past Brothers in that grand final, but that player familiarity will put Ezzy in good stead come the new season.
The young players who will inevitably step up to the top grade have enjoyed success in juniors, and Ezzy sought to exploit that enthusiasm when the new season kicks off.
"I've had many years with Lachie Jackson, Jayden Shepherd, who are two good young players who work on the field, they listen, and do anything you ask," he said.
"As a coach, that's a really important thing to have a good relationship and understanding with all of your players.
"These young men and women are already winners.
"A lot of the young men who will step up to A-grade have won premierships. They have a good culture, a desire to win, and I believe if they bring that enthusiasm to A-grade they'll do well."
Bowers highlighted Ezzy's passion for development as to why he was given the nod.
"We're not going out to the marketplace, if people want to come, we'll welcome any person to come and play from under-6 to A-grade, at the Hervey Bay Seagulls," Bowers said.
"With one of the biggest bases in the Wide Bay area, and with our senior teams, we believe its our duty to develop our players, officials, and coaches in the Hervey Bay area."