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Northern Pride announce new head coach

The Northern Pride have announced the signing of their new head coach, with Eric Smith joining the club for the next two seasons.

Smith, who has previously worked within the Melbourne Storm system, brings a wealth of experience to the Cairns-based club.

With more than 18 years of coaching at various levels - including Cairns A grade,  Hostplus Cup with the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Brisbane Tigers, and NRL with the Storm and Newcastle Knights - Smith has a passion for player development, tactical innovation, and shifting performance through a winning culture.

Smith last coached in Cup in 2019 as the Falcons' head coach.

In a release, the Pride said that Smith has a "proven ability to identify and nurture talent, and he believes in the importance of empowering athletes to reach their full potential both on and off the field."

Eric Smith in 2019.
Eric Smith in 2019.

"We are confident that Eric will play a pivotal role in shaping the future success of the Northern Pride," the club said in a statement.

"As we embark on the new season, Eric will be working closely with our players, coaching staff, and management to lead Northern Pride to being a genuine premiership contender.

"We have every confidence that Eric will build upon the club's strong foundations and continue to drive the values of discipline, effort, teamwork, and respect that define our proud history.

"We again, extend our gratitude to the outgoing head coach Ty Williams for his dedication and hard work during his tenure.

"We would like to welcome both Eric and his partner Heidi to the region and the club.

"We are excited about the journey ahead and look forward to a successful and thrilling future under Eric’s leadership."

Smith will commence on November 1.

The signing comes after news last week that current head coach Williams has decided to take a break from rugby league.

Williams and the Pride currently sit in eighth on the Hostplus Cup ladder with two rounds remaining before finals.

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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