Seagulls join the Woolf pack
TWEED Heads Seagulls have appointed current Gold Coast Titans under-20s coach Ben Woolf as their Intrust Super Cup coach for season 2018.
The club wasted no time in naming Woolf as outgoing coach Aaron Zimmerle's successor, after the former mentor announced he'd be stepping down at the end of this season after five years at the helm.
The 37-year-old has spent the past four seasons as the Titans' National Youth League coach where he has mentored promising NRL prospects Kane Elgey, Max King, Phillip Sami, Jahrome Hughes and Tyronne Roberts-Davis, while also spending time as the NRL side's assistant coach.
With the NYC system ending this season, the Seagulls post offers Woolf an opportunity to continue at a high level in the state league where he will go head-to-head with Townsville Blackhawks coach and older brother Kristian.
Seagulls CEO Scott Clarke said while the club had received many impressive applications for the part-time role, there was no doubt Woolf was their man.
"We had some outstanding candidates with experience at NRL and state league level, which showed that the position is seen as a valuable opportunity,” Clarke said.
"Ben ticked a lot of boxes in regard to the brief the board had for the role. In the professional system, he developed a good relationship not just with younger talent but also with the senior squad.
"Ben also has very good knowledge of local talent, enhanced by coming from a teaching and coaching background at the elite league school, Keebra Park, and an extensive network of contacts.
"This is a natural progression for Ben to develop further as a coach and I know he is a good fit for the club as we embark on some exciting developments and restructure for next season.”
Woolf, who had his Titans side firmly in finals contention until last weekend, said he was excited at the opportunity to continue coaching at an elite level and hopefully attract some of his NYC prospects to the Seagulls.
"I'm really excited to get the opportunity to coach at this level,” Woolf said.
"It's a good period to go onto the role too with the NYC competition ceasing after 10 seasons. There will be a lot of good young talent who will look to the Intrust Super Cup as a direct pathway to the NRL.”
Zimmerle took over as head coach in 2013 and led the Seagulls to a finals berth the following year.
Although under contract for 2018, Zimmerle informed the club of his decision to step down following A 40-14 loss to Ipswich in July.