Tweed Heads Seagulls coach to step down
TWEED Heads Seagulls have been dealt a major blow with Intrust Super Cup coach Aaron Zimmerle advising the club of his decision to step down at the end of 2017.
The Palm Beach Currumbin school teacher is a former Seagulls player, the Australian Universities coach, had two seasons as Queensland Residents coach in 2015-16, and also coached the Canadian team in the past two years.
In and up-and-down run over five seasons at the helm, Zimmerle led the Seagulls to fourth place in his second season at the helm in 2014. But the side is currently languishing in last place after 17 games and while they defeated power sides in Redcliffe and PNG, the losses have been big, including last week's 40-14 thrashing at the hands of Ipswich.
"I have always said to my players that feedback and selection are not meant to be personal, it's about performance. So, when I look at some of our big losses this year and our position on the table, it's my job as the coach to be accountable for that,” Zimmerle said.
"I am disappointed in our, and more importantly my own, performance.
"My decision to step down at the end of the season saddens me. I have been at the club for nine years as a player and a coach and have so many cherished memories of the great people here. Tweed has been a very large part of mine and my young family's life.
"But, for our proud club to climb off the canvas, there needed to be a change.”
Seagulls CEO Scott Clark paid tribute to Zimmerle's passion and efforts made during his time at the helm.
Applauding Zimmerle's work ethic, Clark said the club's position on the ladder was not a reflection of Zimmerle's ability as a coach.
"His care for players and the club is extraordinary,” Clark said
"His decision early to give the club time to plan for the future is also a reflection of his character; it would have been hard for him to step away.
"Although the finals are out of reach this season, I hope the team can show the form they have displayed against some of the leading sides and send Zimmo out a winner.”
Zimmerle said his decision to announce his intentions eight weeks out from season's end, would allow the Seagulls time to search for a suitable replacement while focussing also on recruitment.
However, Zimmerle said it had been an honour to coach the Seagulls and he would leave the club in the best possible shape he could.
"To my staff and players, ultimately you are what I will miss the most and I thank you for the good times and digging in during the tough times,” Zimmerle said.
"Club, culture and mates is why we all love this great game of ours.”
"The goal now is to win as many games as we can before the end of the season, so that the boys can carry that momentum into 2018.”
The Seagulls have a bye this weekend, before facing local rival Burleigh at Piggabeen next Sunday.