Pride's Bird to take on new role with Cairns Brothers

FORMER Northern Pride star and current Take Pride Program Manager Chey Bird has been named as the new player-coach of Cairns District Rugby League side Cairns Brothers.


Bird, who will finish with the Pride on November 29 to take over his new role, is the clubs record points-scorer.


On behalf of the club, I would like to formally thank Chey for his dedication and commitment to the Pride, first as a player and more recently as the Take Pride Manager, said Sea Swift Northern Pride Chief Executive Officer Brock Schaefer.


Chey was named Club Person of the Year in 2011 and I think that was a symbol of how treasured he is within the Club.


He is a legend of the Club, and will always have a place in our hearts, and we wish him all the best at Brothers.


Story by Andrew Piva (The Cairns Post)


ONE of the biggest challenges new Brothers mentor Chey Bird expects to face in his first season in charge is how hell squeeze himself into the 17 each week.


The former Northern Pride fullback takes over from Robbie Swain at the Cairns District Rugby League powerhouse and will lace up for the first time since retiring from the Intrust Super Cup in 2012.


But what number Bird wears on his return is anybodys guess.


Ill be like Daly Cherry-Evans waiting on the bench to make his Test debut each week, Bird joked.


Im not too sure where Ill play to be honest.


Well see what the playing group is and see where I can slot myself in.

Bird doesnt expect that process to be easy.


Back-to-back premiers in 2011-12, Brothers had a disappointing season by their lofty standards in 2013 but still finished the competition rounds in third.


If he can retain most of the clubs playing roster, Bird expects Brothers to once again challenge for the premiership.


Id be very hesitant to make any outlandish predictions or anything like that, but the Brothers club is conditioned to success, he said.


Were certainly not going out there just to make up the numbers.


Weve got a goal of winning every game we play in and then an end goal of winning the competition. Hopefully everything will fall into place and we give ourselves a chance of doing that.


Bird is already familiar with Brothers culture, having played eight seasons for the club in Townsville before arriving in Cairns.


Im a Brothers boy at heart, Bird said.


Ive got an affiliation there, so when the opportunity came up to coach in the seniors, I had to take it.


Bird will also oversee the clubs junior development, allowing him to carry on the type of work he performed at the Northern Pride as the Take Pride manager.


After spending more than five years at the Pride as a player and employee, Bird said it was a big decision to leave.


I have been really fortunate to be employed in a position where Ive just loved rocking up to work every day, Bird said.


Its not something everyone is fortunate enough to be able to enjoy.