The Romano Group Tweed Heads Seagulls have appointed current Gold Coast Titans Under 20s coach Ben Woolf as Aaron Zimmerle’s successor as Intrust Super Cup coach.
The 37-year-old has spent the past four seasons as the Titans’ National Youth League coach where he has mentored promising NRL prospects including Kane Elgey, Max King, Phillip Sami, Jahrome Hughes and Tyronne Roberts-Davis, while also spending time as the NRL’s assistant coach.
With the National Rugby League’s NYC system ending this season, this gives Woolf an opportunity to continue at a high level in the state league where he will go head-to-head with his older brother Kristian, who is coach of the Townsville Blackhawks.
The Seagulls received several impressive applications for the part-time role which was vacated by Zimmerle after he held the position for five seasons.
“We had some outstanding candidates with experience at NRL and state league level, which showed that the position is seen as a valuable opportunity,” Seagulls CEO Scott Clark said.
“Ben ticked a lot of boxes in regards to the brief the Board had for the role; (during) his time in the professional system of the NRL (where for) the past four years … he developed a good relationship not just with younger talent, but also been worked with the senior squad.
“Ben also has very good knowledge of local talent, enhanced by coming from a teaching and coaching background at the elite league school, Keebra Park, and an extensive network of contacts.
“This is a natural progression for Ben to develop further as a coach and I know he is a good fit for the club as we embark on some exciting developments and restructure for next season.”
Woolf, who had his young Titans side well in finals contention until last weekend, said he was excited at the opportunity to continue coaching at an elite level and hopefully attract some of his NYC prospects of recent seasons to the Seagulls.
“I’m really excited to get the opportunity to coach at this level and looking forward at challenge,” Woolf said.
“It’s a good period to go onto the role too with the NYC competition ceasing after 10 seasons; there will be a lot good young talent who will look to the Intrust Super Cup as a direct pathway to the NRL.”
Not only will Woolf battle against brother Kristian in 2018, he may also go head-to-head with his 19-year-old son, Queensland Under 19s hooker Brent, who is in the Broncos system and will play for one of their feeder clubs.
The Seagulls have also appointed former NRL player Paul Stephenson in a business development and player wellbeing role. He will start next week.