The St George Illawarra Dragons would like to update all Red V Members, Partners and supporters on the make-up of the 2016 Football Department following the completion of post-season reviews this week.
“We continued to work right up until the Grand Final and I have undertaken a thorough review with all players and staff as we look to understand the positives and negatives from 2015 and lay the platform for 2016,” said Head Coach Paul McGregor.
“When we resume for 2016, there will be around 20 players who have moved out of our roster in 2015, there will be a number of new faces in the playing squad.
“The roster for 2016 is not yet finalised.
“There will also be some new faces on the football staff and we will also be undertaking some further improvements to our training facilities in the off-season.
“I am very thankful to all the staff and players who were a part of our journey in 2015 and am excited about the squad and staff that we have assembled for 2016."
McGregor has made only minor changes to his Coaching Staff for next season.
Dean Young will remain as NRL Assistant Coach while Ben Hornby moves from part-time to full-time NRL Assistant Coach.
Ian Millward will move to part-time NRL Assistant Coach to enable him to also Coach the Illawarra Cutters in the NSW Cup.
Former halfback and aspiring Coach Mathew Head will return to the Club as National Youth Competition Head Coach.
Head made 67 first-grade appearances for the Club over two spells (2003-07, 2009) with stints in between representing both Hull FC (2007) and Wests Tigers (2008).
Head has maintained his involvement with rugby league since retiring in 2009, he has been a regular part of the ABC rugby league commentary team and for the past three seasons he has successfully coached the Balmain Tigers SG Ball team (Premiers 2013).
Development of rugby league across our region continues to be of primary importance to the Club, particularly with the anticipated upcoming changes to the rugby league pathways across the game, led by NRL Head of Game Strategy and Development, Shane Richardson.
As such, the Dragons have created a new specialised position for 2016 - Manager, Rugby League Pathways.
Former Executive Manager - Football, Robert Finch will take on this new role and will work closely with Director of Recruitment and Retention, Peter Mulholland, on the development pathways including, Junior Representatives (U16 and U18), High Performance Programs, NYC through to NSW Cup and NRL.
Ben Haran will take on the role of Executive Manager - Football Operations replacing Finch, whilst maintaining some elements of his previous role as Recruitment Manager working in with Finch and Mulholland.
In the Performance Department, the Dragons are pleased to announce the recruitment of experienced professional Tony Ayoub as Director of Performance & Medical.
Ayoub has over 20 years experience in rugby league and joins the Club from the Melbourne Storm.
Ayoub is presently part of the current Australian Kangaroos Medical Team and has previously also worked at the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Sydney Roosters amongst others.
Ciriaco Mescia will continue to serve the role of Head of Strength and Conditioning whilst Nathan Pickworth has accepted the broader responsibilities as Athletic Performance Coach.
Gabe Cameron will continue his role as Statistics & Video Analyst while Dr. Tom Carrigan, who will continue in his role as Club Doctor.
As in previous seasons, McGregor will also utilise the services of several outside resources for specific areas of coaching throughout the season when and where required.
The Dragons will resume pre-season training in November.