Guy Williams hasn’t officially ended his playing days, despite taking a new role as Norths Devils Under 18 coach.
The popular Intrust Super Cup veteran will guide the Devils in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup, a few months after completing his 15th season as a player.
When Williams played in the Devils’ season finale against Ipswich last August, he had notched 238 Cup matches and was entrenched among the competition’s most capped players.
His career had been eventful – the tough forward began his career for Central Queensland marking Billy Slater on the Devils’ wing.
While Williams was contemplating another season as a player, he was offered the Under 18 coaching role.
“I haven’t really had much time to think about playing because it’s been an enjoyable off-season with these young players,” Williams said.
“My reason for becoming a coach isn’t that I’ve necessarily come to the end of the road as a player – I enjoy coaching and I’m learning a lot from the wider coaching staff here at Norths.”
Williams has an affinity with the young Devils through his role as a teacher at Norths nursery Wavell State High School.
Some of Williams’ squad attends the school, which has produced Devils of the calibre of Greg Inglis.
Williams takes over from Troy Bishop, who guided the Devils within touching distance of the Under 18 premiership last season.
The Devils went through the regular season undefeated, but fell to Souths Logan 16-18 in a gripping grand final at Bishop Park.
The Devils almost snatched a stunning victory after the siren when emerging prop Ethan Bullemor stripped the ball from NRL-bound David Fifita, sparking a raid that fell centimetres short of a try.
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Williams’ appointment is one of several coaching adjustments for the Devils as they enter the 2019 season.
Rohan Smith’s coaching staff at Cup level includes assistants Rhett Tronc and Craig Kennedy.
Kennedy will also coach the Valleys BRL team, which will be the feeder pathway for the Devils’ Cup team.
Kevin Neighbour returns as Colts coach after steering the Devils to a stirring premiership last September. Neighbour will be assisted by Peri Creamer and Clint Hoffman.
The Devils completed an all-grades training session late last week ahead of their first trial match against Wynnum Manly at Wynnum Juniors on Saturday night.