THE success of the Redcliffe Dolphins over the last few years has been no fluke. Coach Neil Wharton is well known for making the tough the call when he has to. But he?ll be the first person to say he hasn?t done it by himself. He has surrounded himself with not only quality football players but a quality staff as well.
One person who doesn?t get many raps outside the inner sanctum is strength and conditioning Coach David Simpson. You will see him run out each week in trainer?s shirt giving instructions to players but by far his most important work is done behind the scenes on the training paddock and in the gym. Since Simpson took over as strength and conditioning coach in 2002 after guiding the Dolphin Colts to the premiership in 2001 I can?t recall a season when the Dolphins have been run over by opposing teams at the back end of the season.
Simpson who was more than handy as a player himself playing first grade for Redcliffe, Norths and Easts as well as spending time at the Broncos where he was reserve grade captain. He was also in the 1988 Australian Schoolboys side which featured future NRL first graders Brad Fittler, Tim Brasher, David Fairleigh, Brett Horsnell, Jason Martin and Ian Herron among others as well as his good mate Grant Cleal. So successful was the tour for Simpson he was man of the match in the second test.
Simpson will be the first to say he didn?t reach his full potential as a footballer, and now he leaves no stone unturned with any of the Dolphins players whether it?s in the gym, on the paddock or with injury rehabilitation to make sure he can give them the best possible resources available so they can be the best they can be each week. So if that opportunity does come for that player to move onto the next level they will be prepared.
He is also a more than handy coach. In his first year with the clipboard he took Redcliffe Colts a premiership victory against a Melbourne Storm packed Norths side. He also knows the importance of having good people around him so he turned to his good mate from his time in the Australian Schoolboys and Brisbane Broncos sides Grant Cleal as his assistant and former Colts and first grade team mate Tony Marshall as his trainer.
Simmo still has desires to get back into coaching a club side and one day would love nothing more than to be head coach of his beloved Redcliffe Dolphins. His next coaching assignment is that of head coach of the Fijian national side for the lead up and next Rugby League world cup. But first and foremost on his mind is making sure he is doing everything possible to help bring a third successive Queensland Cup to the Dolphin faithful.
I was sitting at my keyboard trying to think of what State of Origin meant to me so that I could write about it and I came up with the following:
THE front and back page of the paper today tells all about Andrew Johns and the will he, won?t he story about his apparent switch to Union. The hourly news updates flash his face across the screen and tell that today is the day he will choose. A Current Affair even had an ?exclusive? interview regarding the pressures that he faces. It?s nothing new; it just highlights the everyday Aussie?s fascination with sport. It?s a fascination that I share as well, however, today that fascination saddens me. Today is a day where articles about sporting prowess and contract negotiations should be the last thing we hear.
THE Sydney Airport Jets form slump continued when they lost out to the Penrith-St.Marys Cougars by 42-10, in the VB Premier League match played at Henson Park last Saturday. Newtown?s lengthy injury toll of front-line players is obviously biting hard, even though the Jets continue to cling precariously to eighth place on the VB Premier League table. Fullback Andrew Le Breton is the latest quality player to join the casualty list, and second rower Tom Gemmell has a delayed appointment with the NSWRL Judiciary this evening.
SYDNEY City Roosters coach Ricky Stuart has named his team to take on the Parramatta Eels at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night.
Coach Stuarts team is;
THE Manly Sea Eagles NRL side to play the Wests Tigers at Brookvale Oval on Sunday is: Brett Stewart,Scott Donald,Albert Torrens,Chris Hicks,Nick Bradley Qalilawa,Andrew Walker,Michael Monaghan (c),Jason King,Nathan Hollingsworth,Daniel Heckenberg,Anthony Watmough,Luke Williamson,Steve Menzies.
Replacements:Kylie Leuluai,Sam Harris,Ian Donnelly,Glenn Stewart.
THE weekly column here at Leagueunlimited is to highlight what we here on the site think are the best players in each round of the 2004 NRL competition.
Based on the opinion received from the Leagueunlimited.com live updaters, we have put together what we think is the team of the Round 17.
THE North Queensland Toyota Cowboys today announced the signing of Bulldogs five-eighth Johnathan Thurston. Coming from Brisbane Thurston will again make Queensland his home.
Cowboys head coach, Graham Murray, believes Johnathan offers the Toyota Cowboys a lot of attacking options.
FONE Zone Canberra Raiders coach Matthew Elliott has promoted Premier League winger Nathan Smith into the first grade lineup for this Saturday's home clash against the North Queensland Cowboys.
BLOCKBUSTING young forward Carl Webb has been retained for this Friday night?s huge clash with the in-form St GeorgeIllawarra Dragons at Win Stadium.
Webb has spent much of the season in the QRL with the Toowoomba Clydesdales after falling out of favour with coach Wayne Bennett at the end of 2003.
PARRAMATTA Eels coach Brian Smith has name his team to take on the Sydney City Roosters at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Coach Smiths team is;
BACK-ROWER Sione Faumuina has been recalled to the Vodafone Warriors starting line-up for their clash against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Toyota Park this Saturday night. Faumuina has not played for the club since the round 13 clash against the Raiders, after which he was suspended by the NRL judiciary for four matches for his part in a dangerous throw tackle.
THE South Sydney Rabbitohs is pleased to announce its teams for Round 18 to take on the Penrith Panthers this Sunday, July 11 at 3pm at Aussie Stadium.
AS Melbourne Storm prepares for Sunday?s showdown with the Bulldogs, coach Craig Bellamy has admitted his side needs to adopt the same hardness that has seen the Bulldogs perennial finalists in recent times.
IN This Issue: