The St George Illawarra Dragons would like to update all Red V Members, Partners and supporters on the Football Coaching and Performance Staff changes for the 2017 season.
Changes have been made across all aspects of the 2017 Football Department following the 2016 review of football, which also introduced the formation of the Rugby League Performance Committee.
In the Pre-Season, in particular, the Rugby League Performance Committee will be reviewing and monitoring performance at all levels with particular emphasis on the execution and accountability for new programs being implemented.
The NRL Coaching Staff for 2017 will consist of Head Coach Paul McGregor, Assistant Coaches Ben Hornby and Dean Young and a range of specialist external coaches and consultants across the areas of specialist skills and team dynamics in high performance including leadership.
With the anticipated involvement of many 2016 NYC Players in the NSW Cup in 2017, Mathew Head will progress with these players and take on the role of NSW Cup & Transition Coach, following the recent unexpected release of Jason Demetriou.
Former South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL Head Assistant Coach Wayne Collins will replace Head as the NYC Head Coach and also assist with the NRL Squad.
Collins has spent the past four seasons with South Sydney, prior to that he held Assistant Coach roles with both the Penrith Panthers (2007-2011) and Canberra Raiders (2004-06).
Collins has also had a successful first-grade playing career with the Raiders (1988-90), St George Dragons (1991-94), South Queensland Crushers (1995-96) and Leeds Rhinos (1997).
“All the Coaches and Performance Staff are refreshed and excited about 2017 as are the players,” said McGregor after the first day of training.
“We left no stone unturned in our review of 2016 and have implemented changes for 2017 which we believe, combined with new additions to our squad, will ensure an improved performance all round."
Within the Performance Department, Nathan Pickworth has been has been appointed as Head of Athletic Performance and will take the lead performance role following the release of Tony Ayoub.
Pickworth is an experienced sports performance professional with qualifications in Exercise Science, Strength and Conditioning and Physiotherapy.
He has worked within the Dragons Football department in various capacities since 2011, having joined the Dragons from previous roles with the ACT Brumbies and New South Wales Institute of Sport.
The Club will have two new Strength and Conditioning Coaches in Andrew Rondinelli and Alex Clarke.
Rondinelli joins the Club in a dual role, which also includes performance nutrition, having previously worked with both Port Adelaide FC and Carlton FC.
Clarke joins the Dragons from his role as Physical Performance Consultant with the Chinese Olympic Track and Field team and has previous held roles with both the Brisbane Lions FC and Hawthorn FC.
Additionally, Chris Bailey arrives as the new NRL Physiotherapist after previous roles with both the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (2014-2016) and Australian Rugby Union (2011-2014) while Billy Hulin as another Sport Scientist will work on an expanded role that will include our scientific and performance analytical activities.
Ian Millward will continue his role as Director of Rugby League Pathways overseeing the Club’s recruitment and retention program across all age groups working alongside Recruitment Manager David Warwick.
Executive Manager of Football - Ben Haran continues in his role of management of the Football Department.
The Dragons are still finalising the structure and staffing of an expanded Education, Welfare and Wellbeing Department and will update stakeholders when these details and arrangements are finalised.