I am of the opinion that if an NRL coach is expected to be a full-time employee, then the National coach should be too. Done properly and resourced sufficiently, all rugby league administrators, coaches, players and fans would benefit enormously.
In an ideal system, any graded player who is struggling to communicate with his club coach, for whatever reason, should have 2 alternatives (State and/or the National coach) in which he can confide and seek quality independent guidance from, should he feel the need to.
The National coach should also be available to all NRL coaches, who feel the need to confide in someone independent.
Any applicant to be considered for this position must forgo all existing employment agreements with current Rugby League clubs.
This position will create a coaching career path for all full-time coaches, as all will be able to step progressively throughout their careers as follows:
Get your coaching certificate Coach a team Coach Jersey Flegg or Premier League or Jim Beam Cup or Queensland Cup side Coach an NRL side Coach your State Side Coach the National Side Retire or become a Selector
Included in this concept would be the introduction of a new National top 25 elite squad. This squad would be reviewed at the end of every season. Players not originally selected for the squad, still have every chance of being selected for individual matches should their form warrant it.
These 25 players would all receive extra payments from the NRL to supplement their salary capped club payments. This is aimed at the elite top echelon of players who are targets of rival codes and these payments would not be included in any clubs salary cap accounting.
This in turn rewards clubs that produce quality players by encouraging them to remain in their current clubs, knowing they will receive an extra payment due to their good form with these clubs. Inevitably the clubs administrators will benefit, as they will not be required to expend exorbitant amounts of money attempting to retain a quality player they have already invested in throughout their development.
Based on that theory here is the job description I would propose for the National Coach. ____
Australian Rugby League (ARL) POSITION DESCRIPTION Position Title: National Coaching Director Location: Australia, travel required Reporting to: The ARL board of selectors Approved By: NRL Chief Executive Officer Salary: $neg + Audio Visual equipment
POSITION DUTIES AND SCOPE: To ensure the development of all graded rugby league players To be available to all graded players in a mentoring capacity To oversee the development of the national elite youth squad (under 20?s) selected each season To coach the national elite youth (under 20?s) team To oversee the squad of 25 elite players listed at the beginning of each season To coach the national elite team To ensure all confidential communications between the players and the coach are kept confidential To promote the game of rugby league
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY RESPONSIBILTIES: In conjunction with the ARL chief medical officer, ensure the safety of the players for the duration of matches
POSITION TASKS & RESPONSIBILITES: Coach the national elite squad In conjunction with the ARL selectors, select the national elite squad of 25 players Coach the national elite youth squad (under 20?s) In conjunction with the ARL selectors, select the national elite youth squad (under 20?s) Watch every NRL game Watch every Jersey Flegg game Watch every international rugby league match Provide career, technical and psychological advice to all graded players as required Attend all ARL approved regional rugby league carnivals Promote the game of rugby league
POSITION REQUIREMENTS (Skills/Training): Mandatory ARL level 2 coaching certificate or equivalent 10 years experience in coaching at the NRL/ESL level Preferable but not essential 2 years of coaching at the State of Origin level 15-20 years of coaching Coached a premiership winning NRL team Played at NRL level or equivalent ____
With the NRL being a multi-million dollar entity these days, I see no reason why they cannot employ, and pay well, a full-time National Coach. As this positions primary role would be the well being of all the NRL players, surely it is in the interest of the NRL and worth investing in.
I would also be calling for similar positions and squads to be created within the structures of the NSWRL and QRL.
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