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.Like
Behind every good coach
- by Jon Sloan
- June 08 2004 12:00AM
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