The St George Illawarra Dragons would like to update all Red V Members and supporters on the coaching and performance staff who will make-up the Football Department in 2015.
Head Coach Paul McGregor has appointed Ian Millward, Ben Hornby and Dean Young as his respective Assistant Coaches for the 2015 campaign with each individual presently or previously being part of the Club’s lower-grade coaching ranks.
Ian Millward is a former Illawarra Steelers junior who boasts an extensive coaching resume which includes appointments as Head Coach with Leigh Centurions (1998-2000), St Helens (2000-05), Wigan Warriors (2005-06) and Castleford Tigers (2012-13).
During this 16-year timeframe, Millward won several pieces of silverware, including two English Super League Grand Finals (2000, 2002), two Challenge Cups (2001, 2004) and a World Club Challenge (2001), and was named the English Super League ‘Coach of the Year’ in 2001.
Millward was most recently appointed Head Coach of the Illawarra Cutters for the 2014 as well as working with the Dragons in a coaching advisory role for the second-half of the campaign.
“Ian has had a lot of success overseas during his own respective coaching career and has become a sounding board for me since I was appointed Head Coach here at the Dragons,” said McGregor.
“He has a vast understanding of the game and someone who will assist me in setting down the foundations and getting the best out of the playing squad.”
Millward will be joined by NRL Premiership-winning duo Ben Hornby and Dean Young who have extensively presided over the Club’s High Performance Unit program since their respective retirements in 2012.
The Dragons pair were last season appointed respective co-Head Coaches of the Club’s National Youth Competition team and in their first term guided the team to the Preliminary Final.
While Young will focus solely on his duties with the first-grade squad, Hornby will additionally continue his role overseeing the Young Dragons in 2015.
“Both Ben and Dean have a strong work ethic which was reflected in the way they coached the Dragons NYC team who ended up reaching the Preliminary Final this season,” said McGregor.
“They understand first-hand the expectations that comes with representing such a proud club and are aware of what we need to do to meet them.”
Furthermore, Mark Andrews has been promoted to the role of High Performance Manager after previously holding the position of NRL Contact Coach this season.
Andrews will be charged with overseeing the creation and implementation of player training and exercise programs across all-grades at the Club which will compliment similar roles previously held with the Melbourne Rebels High (Super Rugby) and Huddersfield Giants (English Super League) respectively.
As previously announced, the Dragons have reached an agreement with Ciriaco Mescia for the role of Head of Strength and Conditioning with the former NSW Country Origin player reporting directly to Andrews.
The former Western Suburbs Magpie and Wests Tigers first-grade player (1994-2001) arrives following previous high performance roles with the Parramatta Eels, Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers respectively.
The Dragons have appointed Gabe Cameron to the role of Statistics & Video Analyst and will be tasked with statistical analysis of player performance as well as the implementation of technologies.
The Dragons welcome present NSW Blues Head Physiotherapist Liz Steet who has been appointed Head of Medical Science and in her capacity will oversee all aspects of the Club’s sports rehabilitation and injury management program.
Steet has been involved in rugby league for over twenty years and alongside her current role at State of Origin level has held previous titles with the Sydney Roosters, Country Rugby League and Indigenous All-Stars.
Additionally, Dan Lawson will continue serving as NRL Physiotherapist having been appointed to the position last season and will be joined this season by Nathan Pickworth, who will also undertake this job role alongside his duties as Rehabilitation Coordinator.
Both physiotherapists, alongside Dr. Tom Carrigan, who will continue in his role as Club Doctor, will respectively report directly to Steet.
As previously noted, Peter Mulholland has been appointed Dragons Director of Recruitment and Retention and is presently continuing the planning of the Dragons roster and salary cap for 2015 and beyond.
Mulholland directs the recruitment team which includes Recruitment Manager Ben Haran and a network of Recruitment Officers across Australia and overseas and interfaces directly with Head Coach Paul McGregor.
Dragons two-time Premiership-winning centre Robert Finch will continue to serve as the Executive Manager – Football as he has done for the previous three seasons.
McGregor will also utilise the services of several outside resources for specific areas of coaching throughout the season when required.