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New Cup coaches of 2023: Burt at Bears

Nine clubs will go into this season's Hostplus Cup with a new coach at the helm, in one of the biggest turnovers in recent years.

With the addition of the Western Clydesdales - and kick-off to season 2023 right around the corner - the Queensland Rugby League is profiling our 10 new coaches, whether they're coming from a different club or are completely new to the Cup arena.

In this edition, we talk to Burleigh Bears coach Luke Burt about his promotion to the top job, his mentors, and how he's working to maintain the club culture.

Coaching history

Burt retired from his NRL playing career in 2012 and by 2014 was a transitional coach with the Parramatta Eels. He held that role for two years before being named Parramatta under 20s coach for two seasons.

In 2018, he moved to Queensland to take up the position of Gold Coast Titans assistant coach. He held this role for two years - with a stint as interim NRL coach in 2019 - before joining Burleigh in 2020.

In 2021, Burt became the Hostplus Cup assistant coach with the Bears and maintained that role in 2022 before his promotion to head coach for season 2023.

He was also the Lebanon assistant coach at the World Cup in 2017.

Luke Burt at Burleigh Bears training. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Luke Burt at Burleigh Bears training. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

Q&A with Luke Burt

What did it mean to you to be elevated to the role of head coach at Burleigh?

It was amazing. I feel very privileged to be a coach of such a prestigious club with a great history. I feel very lucky.

What is your coaching philosophy or style?

Disciplined but with an up-tempo style of football. Our pre-season this year has definitely been defence-orientated but up-tempo when it comes to attack.

Who would you say is your mentor or strongest influence in coaching?

Brian Smith was an unbelievable development coach. His attention to detail was outstanding. There’s a lot of things I’ve taken from Brian’s style of coaching. I was also lucky enough to have Michael Hagan and Daniel Anderson. They were great people managers and could really bring people together.

What were your first impressions of the club?

What I first learnt when I came to the club is how good of a culture they have. It’s something I’ve tried to continue into this pre-season. The commitment levels of the boys and their attention to detail this pre-season has been sensational.

What are your goals for season 2023?

It’s a hard one because obviously the goal for every Cup club is to win the big one but the development of the side and improvement of each individual player is the main focus for us coaches at the moment.

Who within your squad will make their mark in 2023?

Sam Coster and Creedence Toia. Sam I think is one of the most underrated players. He does all the little things that you look for in a player. He’s defensive-minded but has great skill when it comes to attack. He does a lot for the middle of the field. Creedence, I haven’t had too much to do with him yet as he’s doing a pre-season with the Titans but the feedback is that he’s been very good. The sessions he has come back and trained with the Bears, he’s been very, very good. He’ll play a big part in our season.

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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