Jones back at Vodafone Warriors in coaching role
Saturday 10 November 2012 10:33 PM
Stacey Jones, the most decorated player in the Vodafone Warriors’ history, is returning to his only NRL club once more, this time in a fulltime coaching and recruitment role.
General manager football operations Dean Bell today announced the 36-year-old 261-game record-holding halfback is re-joining the Vodafone Warriors in the newly-created role of junior recruitment and pathways coach.
Bell said Jones was the perfect fit for the critical multi-dimensional role which will extend to him working in a coaching capacity with the club’s halves including those in the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL squad.
“We couldn’t be happier having someone of Stacey’s standing returning to the club in this role,” he said.
“Following on from Ruben Wiki’s appointment a week ago, Stacey is also keen to pursue his future as a coach and this is an ideal opportunity for him to develop.
“Besides key responsibilities in recruitment and coaching in our development system, having our halves throughout the club mentored by one of the game’s greatest halfbacks is hugely exciting.
“(Head coach) Matt (Elliott) was keen to create this role in the club and to also have Stacey taking it on.”
Jones is set for another homecoming after having an association with the Vodafone Warriors in 13 of their first 18 seasons in existence. He has previously had a club record 12 seasons as a player (1995-2005 and 2009) plus another as part-time kicking coach in 2008. He has missed only the 2006 and 2007 campaigns when he played for Les Catalans Dragons in the English Super League and the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons when he continued his involvement in the code coaching his old Point Chevalier club in the Auckland competition and, more recently, as the Auckland Rugby League’s football development officer.
“I’m so excited about coming back into the club in this role,” he said.
“I’ve learned so much working with the Auckland Rugby League recently and also coaching at grass roots level with the Pirates.
“To now have a fulltime job like this back at the Vodafone Warriors is perfect.
“There are so many good things going on with the club at the moment. I can’t wait to be involved again with the new football staff and the new direction.”
Jones’ appointment follows the recent announcement that his contemporary Andrew Johns has joined Manly’s coaching staff while another of the game’s greatest halfbacks Allan Langer is also involved with Brisbane.
Bell said Jones would take over as development coach from Willie Swann, who becomes Vodafone Junior Warriors assistant coach alongside two-times NYC premiership-winning coach John Ackland.
Jones will also manage the club’s pathways for all players.
“This is an area of the role which Matt places special value on in terms of his vision for the club as a whole,” said Bell.
“It will see Stacey having the responsibility of ensuring all our young players progress to the different levels of the game at the appropriate stage of their development.”
Also vital will be Jones’ involvement as the club’s schools liaison officer working with the Auckland Rugby League on the joint-venture First XIII secondary schools’ competition announced by Vodafone Warriors owners Owen Glenn and Eric Watson in July.
The 46-Test Kiwi great’s tally of 261 appearances is easily the most by a Vodafone Warriors player and he also comfortably the club’s record points-scorer with 674.
He links up on the football staff with former New Zealand and Vodafone Warriors team-mate Wiki as well as the club’s foundation captain and his 1995 team-mate Bell.
Born: May 7, 1976
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Position: Vodafone Warriors junior recruitment and pathways coach
Previous Roles: Auckland Rugby League football development officer
Point Chevalier coach
Junior Clubs: Ponsonby-Maritime, Pt Chevalier (Auckland)
NRL Career: Vodafone Warriors, 1995-2005, 2009
Club No: 24
NRL Debut: Vodafone Warriors v Parramatta, Parramatta Stadium, Sydney, April 23, 1995 (Round 7)
NRL Career: 261 appearances 1995-2005, 2009
NRL Points: 674 (77 tries, 176 goals, 14 field goals)
Super League: Les Catalans Dragons, 2006-2007
Super League Debut: Les Catalans v Wigan, Stade Aime Giral, Perpignan, February 11, 2006 (Round 1)
Super League Career: 45 appearances 2006-2007
Super League Points: 133 (11 tries, 43 goals, 3 field goals)
Test Debut: v Tonga, Warrington, October 8, 1995 (World Cup)
Test Career: 46 tests for Kiwis, 1995-2006; 6 tests as captain 2002 and 2006
Test Points: 160 (16 tries, 47 goals, 2 field goals)
Kiwi Number: 665
Awards: Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2005), Golden Boot Award (2002), New Zealand Player of the Year (1991, 1992, 2002), Vodafone Warriors Player of the Year (1997).
Educated: St Paul’s College (Auckland)