From the moment you meet Luke Deller, you know he lives and breathes rugby league.
The Beenleigh Pride coach has been a breath of fresh air for the Brisbane Second Division Rugby League and the Beenleigh club with his strong work ethic.
When you look at Deller on the sidelines, he does not resemble a modern day coach barking orders at his players. He is respected by his players; they know what has to be done from his pre-game speech and the players just go out and get it done.
Growing up in Beenleigh and playing most of his football in the Gold Coast competition, Deller is not only passionate about the Pride club, but the Beenleigh community in general.
“The support and community values surrounding this club is phenomenal. We all stick together as one unit and this is what makes this club and area so proud,” he said.
“What we have achieved in the last two years as a new club is incredible.”
The Pride have only been up and running in the Brisbane Second Division since 2015, however in their maiden year, the club won nine straight games, were winners of the prestigious Ted Beaumont Trophy and were just short of upsetting high flyers Redlands Parakeets in last year’s Open 1 grand final.
It’s last year’s loss in the decider that still haunts Deller and his players, but instead of throwing in the towel, the club regrouped, reloaded and added some new additions to their 2016 roster.
“Last year’s loss still burns for us.” Deller said. “We have learnt from that and moved on, however we are on the cusp of something special here at the Pride, you can feel it, the supporters can feel it and I have faith in my squad to go on step better this year.”
When asked what his thoughts were on the Brisbane Second Division, Deller confirms what a lot of people believe.
“I haven’t played a great deal myself in this competition, but you only have to look at the quality of players running around on what a brilliant comp it is.
“Teams such as Bulimba, Wynnum and Logan Brothers keep it real each season and are definitely sides we have to watch out for.”
The calibre of notable players that have been rock solid for the club over the past two seasons have been, damaging ex-Logan Brothers forwards Glen Salter and David Gorman, prolific point scorer Rhys Gorman, elusive fullback John Bosen, the experienced Craig Chapman, David Richards and young prop Matt Domek to mention but a few.
The Pride’s expansion of players has meant the once standalone Open 1 side now has forced the creation of an Open 2 South side, such is the club’s reputable name in the community.
Deller believes this is what the club needed to keep players on their toes to run out for the Open 1 side, as places for spots have now become more pressure cooker amongst players.
Deller’s vision for the club is something you have to admire. The hard work he and other back room staff including Beth Howlett, Sky Williams, Shane Downer, Michael Rose and Ant and Catherine Friend have achieved is noteworthy.
It’s probably early days calling Deller a legend of the Pride Club, but one thing for certain is that the approachable coach has laid the platform for the next generation.
The former Southport Rugby League player shies away from the limelight, and instead prefers to pat his supporters, committee and players on the back.
“When you see the hard work we do in fundraising, team gatherings and training, my job becomes a lot easier.
“We are all passionate about the Beenleigh Pride club, but if I can make a difference with my coaching methods, then I know I have set out to complete the task assigned to me.”
With the Pride sitting in third spot, the club are on track for another finals campaign with only two rounds remaining.
However, it’s not just Deller putting the Pride club on the map, he has the backing of the entire Beenleigh community.
The sky is the limit for the highly respected coach Luke Deller, all he has to do is go out there and grab it.