RUGBY LEAGUE: Former NRL Coach of the Year Phil Economidis has been appointed Warwick Cowboys A-grade coach for the 2018 TRL season.
"My primary aim will be to foster local talent at the Cowboys,” he said.
"I watched some games during the season and the under-18 Cowboys team in the grand final and believe many of the U18s can make the transition into A grade next season,” he said. "We need to strengthen two or three positions in A grade.”
Economidis was the most successful of the five coaches who were in charge of Gold Coast Chargers team in an 11-year period. He was coach from 1996 to 1998 and was preparing for another season when his club was cut from the NRL.
He was NRL Coach of the Year in 1997 in a year he guided his team into the finals series after predictions they wouldn't win a game. Gold Coast beat Illawarra 25-14 in week one of the finals before being eliminated by the Roosters. Economidis steered a Gold Coast team to the reserve- grade preliminary final in 1995.
He wants to make training interesting and informative.
"My plan is to incorporate a lot of skills work into the fitness aspect of training.”
After his success with the Chargers in 1997, Economidis was dubbed a miracle worker but when it comes to the Cowboys in 2018, he said all the focus had to be on the players.
"I have the fire in the belly and passion to coach my town team,” he said.
After the Chargers were cut from the NRL, Economidis spent two years in France coaching Toulouse and then at Souths Logan. He has lived in Warwick for four years and been a regular player at the Warwick Golf Club.
Cowboys president David O'Leary said Economidis brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role.
"He has a good record in developing players and will build on the platform set up by A-grade coach Craig Mullaly and his assistant Chris Osborne in the past two seasons,” O'Leary said.
Mullaly did not seek a third year after steering the side to the grand final last season and just missing the finals this year. Lower grade coaches are still to be appointed.
The club AGM is on October 25 and O'Leary said not all current office bearer were re-standing.
"We are always looking for new committee members,” he said.