Northern Pride Rugby League Football Club has announced former NRL rugby league star Rod Jensen has been appointed the club’s new Chief Executive Officer.
Jensen, 36, played almost 150 NRL and UK Super League games for North Queensland Cowboys, Canberra Raiders, Adelaide Rams and Huddersfield Giants during a glittering playing career.
The Ravenshoe product then went on to play 68 games for the Northern Pride, scoring 36 tries, before retiring from the Barlow Park club in 2012.
Jensen, a qualified teacher, has spent the past two years running the Pride’s highly-successful and award-winning Take Pride program, as well as the Federal Government-supported Learn Earn Legend! program.
Jensen replaces Brock Schaefer as CEO, with Schaefer, who will finish with the club tomorrow (January 30), moving to Sydney to take up a position as General Manager of Souths Cares, the community engagement component of NRL giants South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Jensen, who has also been a player-coach in the Cairns District Rugby League competition over the past two seasons, said he was thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue taking the highly-successful Barlow Park club forward into the future.
“It’s a rare privilege to have the chance to lead such a club and I thank the Northern Pride Board for appointing me to the position,” he said.
“It is a special time for this footy club with a record-breaking treble-winning season in 2014, and the excitement of a new season ahead of us with a new head coach and a thrilling squad of players.
“It’s no secret that I have a massive passion for rugby league, particularly the Northern Pride and the sport in general in North Queensland, and I aim to continue the great work of my predecessors.
“I’m a local guy who has been at the club for six years now, first as a player and more recently as part of the administrative and business management team, and I’m really excited about the future.
“The great successes of this club are a reflection of the aspiration, commitment and passion of our players, our corporate partners, and our season members.
“I look forward to spending the next few weeks and months speaking to as many of our supporters, sponsors and volunteers as possible.”
Northern Pride chairman Bob Fowler said the Pride board were confident Jensen was the right person to build on the club’s on-going success, since its inception in 2007.
"Since his playing career ended, Rod has displayed all the attributes necessary in handling administration and business management duties through his work with the Pride’s community engagement programs,” Mr Fowler said.
“I think it’s another example of the excellent career pathways our great club provides for not only our players, but also our staff, and we’ve no doubt Rod will continue to steer the club in the right direction.
“We’ve all been impressed by Rod’s views to transform and strengthen our organisation and look forward to supporting him, our staff and players to have our club recognised as the most professional and successful state league sporting club in Australia.”
The club has also announced that it has appointed inaugural former Pride CEO Denis Keeffe in a consultancy role to work with Jensen on developing high-level corporate relationships.
“Denis has more than 25 years of senior management experience in professional rugby league, basketball and has an impressive contact list in Far North Queensland,” Mr Fowler added.
“He will assist the club in delivering our sales and sponsorship functions.”
ROD JENSEN FACTFILE
Date of Birth: January 19, 1979
Pride Games: 68
Pride Tries: 36 (second on all time Pride try scorer list)
Playing History: Adelaide Rams (17 games, 4 tries), Canberra Raiders (26 games, 9 tries), North Queensland Cowboys (58 games, 19 tries), Huddersfield Giants (29 games, 13 tries). Played in the NQ Cowboys’ only ever NRL grand final in 2005. Also a try scorer in Pride’s 2010 Intrust Super Cup grand final win over Norths Devils – the club’s first ever premiership.
First Rugby League Memory: “Steve Renouf scoring four tries against me. Longest day ever at the office.”
Post-Playing Career: Teacher at Djarragun College, manager of Take Pride and Learn Earn Legend! programs. New Northern Pride Chief Executive Officer.