Seagulls' coach quits
ON Sunday, Tweed Heads coach Steve Anderson watched with pride as the Seagulls demolished Queensland Cup high-flyers Norths Devils at Kingscliff.
Yesterday he resigned from the job.
Anderson's sudden decision was driven by an increasing demand by his employer, the Australian Drug Foundation, and his commitments as the Queensland state manager.
For a man with more than 20 years experience in rugby league, the move wasn't easy.
But, for Anderson, it was “the right thing to do”.
“In this current climate the demands on the drug foundation are growing rapidly and because we are involved from elite sports right down to community levels, you can appreciate in this current climate, the workload is increasing,” Anderson said yesterday.
“Apart from supervising Queensland, I am also on two national boards, and from June that will mean a lot of time travelling and being away from the Coast.”
Anderson, who was appointed as head coach with Seagulls in September last year, had the task of helping the club adapt to its role as the primary feeder club for the Gold Coast Titans.
With three years' coaching experience with the Melbourne Storm, terms in the English Super League and before Seagulls, the Central Comets in the Queensland Cup, Anderson had a four-and-six record with Seagulls after 10 rounds.
“It wouldn't be fair to Seagulls and the players for me to be away due to work commitments so I decided it would be best for all to make the decision now and not later,” Anderson said.
“I have spoken with Titans' coach John Cartwright about my decision and also with Wayne Fitzpatrick, the president of the Seagulls rugby league club.
“It's a case of the demands of the job taking priority.
“It has been very pleasing to see the young under-20 players from the Titans develop in the Queensland Cup, and that will be something I will miss.
“There are some very good young players coming through like Ryan Simpkins, Cody Nelson and Tom Kingston, and I'm sure the club will enjoy more success.”
Fitzpatrick said the decision was very amicable and on behalf of the rugby league club, he wished Anderson all the best.
“It was fitting that Steve went out on a winning note,” Fitzpatrick said.
“We understand the demands on his position with the Australia Drug Foundation are increasing and he wouldn't be able to devote the appropriate time and diligence to his role as head coach of Seagulls.”
Stepping into the breach in a coaching role for Gulls will be inspirational captain Brad Davis.
Davis made a welcome return from injury for Tweed on Sunday but will have added weight on his shoulders guiding the team both on and off the field as the interim coach.
Fitzpatrick said the role would eventually be shared, taking some of the pressure off Davis, with an announcement on who would be co-coaching this week.
“Brad has been approached and is willing to take on the responsibility,” Fitzpatrick said.
“He spoke with John Cartwright and was assured that his role with Seagulls wouldn't jeopardise his chances of NRL selection for the Titans during the year.”
Last year Davis, who was selected as captain of the Queensland Residents side, made his NRL debut with the Gold Coast after an injury to Scott Prince.
Davis will become one of a rare breed as captain and coach - for now.