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Norths Devils announce 2023 head coach

Norths Devils have announced Dave Elliott as head coach on a two-year deal starting in 2023.

Elliott joins the Devils from Mackay Cutters, where he is currently head coach of the Hostplus Cup team.

Elliott will become the Devils’ 42nd head coach, joining a famous list of names including Bob Bax, Clive Churchill, Mark Murray, Graham Lowe and Tommy Raudonikis.

Elliott, 42, is a schoolteacher by profession and will return to his native southeast Queensland with his wife and young family to begin the full-time role from November 1 this year.

“We are grateful for the many excellent coaches who applied for the role,” Devils CEO Troy Rovelli said.

“It wasn’t an easy choice given the quality of candidates. Dave was successful because of his coaching vision, his experience and his ability to connect with players.

“His approach aligned best with the Devils’ vision for the future and our commitment to excellence as a club. We are thrilled to secure Dave and look forward to working with him next season.”

Elliott has guided the Cutters to wins over the likes of Townsville Blackhawks, Tweed Seagulls and Brisbane Tigers in his first season as a senior head coach. He has juggled a part-time teaching role with his work for the Cutters.

Dave Elliott. Photo: Mackay Cutters
Dave Elliott. Photo: Mackay Cutters

He had previously worked with the Blackhawks as coach of the Hastings Deering Colts team in 2019 and 2020. He took that role after three seasons as assistant coach of the Blackhawks’ Cup teams under Kristian Woolf.

Rovelli paid tribute to the Devils 2022 co-coaches Kevin Neighbour and Ben King, who will continue to work with the Hostplus Cup squad for the remainder of the season.

Neighbour and King have led the Devils since premiership coach Rohan Smith ended his five-season stint at the club earlier this year when recruited by Leeds Rhinos.

“We appreciate the work and effort of Kev and BK throughout the season. Their commitment to the team has been outstanding,” Rovelli said.

“We are proud to have them coaching our team this season and we look forward to this month’s run to the finals.”

Elliott said he was excited about the prospect of joining the Devils.

“It will be a privilege to be at the Devils for the club’s 90th anniversary season,” Elliott said.

“I know the impact Norths has had on Queensland football over that time. I’ve seen the hard work that has gone into the Devils in recent seasons, culminating in last year’s premiership win.

“I’m very respectful of that past but determined to work into a new season with our players and coaching staff across all of our teams. It’s an exciting time for the Devils and I look forward to joining the club.”    

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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