Former Tweed Seagulls Intrust Super Cup coach Aaron Zimmerle is back at the helm of the Canadian men’s rugby league side and has his sights set on taking the fledgling rugby league nation to the 2025 Rugby League World Cup.
Zimmerle – who was in the head coach role with the Seagulls from 2013 to 2017 – was announced this week as the coach of the side with immediate effect.
"It was a rigorous selection process with some quality coaches from NRL and Super League systems applying," Zimmerle said.
"To be selected to coach my country of birth again is one the greatest honours I have had in my rugby league career.
"Having coached the Wolverines in the 2015 World Cup qualifiers and narrowly missing out as the Americans ran us down in the second half, I have always felt like we had unfinished business and I know that heritage players Rhys and Ryley Jacks who starred for the team feel the same way.
"My stint in Canada coaching and playing has further strengthened my connection to the coaches who are unselfishly working hard to build the game along with witnessing some of the next generation of players first hand.
"Having traveled over 5000km across the country, I was able to meet many of those involved in the BC, Alberta and Ontario provincial competitions along with the president Bob Jowett and the board of the CRLA, which showed me that they have one common goal; to continue to grow Canadian RL, so that both the Wolverines and Ravens can compete on the world stage."
In his role, Zimmerle will take charge of the Wolverines in their upcoming qualification matches throughout the proposed 2020 Americas Championship in November in Kingston, Jamaica, and the 2021 Americas 9s Championship in Jacksonville, Florida in May next year.
The former Queensland Residents coach was previously appointed to role in 2015 and this time around will also be in charge of the side for the 2025 Rugby League World Cup Americas qualifiers which are scheduled to be held in November 2022.
Jamaica's Reggae Warriors took the honours in the most recent Americas Championships and will feature in the upcoming 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
"My first goal is to provide as much interactive education and resources for the coaches in the senior clubs as possible so that they are not isolated from the modern game and to share systems of junior development from my experiences of working at Palm Beach Currumbin SHS, a nursery of 44 NRL players," Zimmerle said.
"Gold Coast-based Mike Castle, the coach of the World Cup bound Canadian Ravens is highly experienced in coach education through his role with the NRL, and the two of us will work together to provide as many tools as possible for the domestic men and women’s coaches.
"In regards to the Wolverines, by helping the coaches we obviously benefit the players under them.
"Besides flying over in preparation for major tournaments, selection will be a collaborative process with the Provincial coaches and board.
"Another addition to the elite development pathway of Canadian players is the new semi professional side the Ottawa Aces who will play in the RFL League One next year. This exposure to a higher level of competition is essential in preparing for the World Cup qualifiers.
"The last missing ingredient is to identify Canadian heritage players (parent / grandparent) playing either rugby code in Australia, New Zealand, England or elsewhere who have the potential to add quality to the side.
"Knowing that Jamaica and America are two accomplished sides that stand between us and World Cup qualification, means we can leave no stone unturned.
"Any heritage player interested in being considered for selection can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org."