Coach trades UK for Far North after signing two-year-deal with the Northern Pride
THE Northern Pride last night announced former English Super League player Jason Demetriou as the club's new coach after signing the 36-year-old to a two-year deal.
Demetriou (pictured) will take over from premiership-winning mentor David Maiden, who will leave the Pride at the end of the season after three years in charge.
A Sydney native, Demetriou is coach of West Yorkshire side the Keighley Cougars, who play in the Cooperative Championship – Europe’s second-tier rugby league competition below Super League.
Demetriou won a premiership with the Cougars in his first year in 2011, securing promotion into the Championship in the process.
Since applying for the Pride job, Demetriou has tracked the club’s progress by watching their games on the
Speaking from his base in England yesterday, Demetriou said the Pride had everything he was looking for as a coach.
"I think the set-up is first class. The set-up off the field couldn’t be any better," he said.
"That’s another thing I’m excited about. At Keighley, I do all sorts of things at the club, but off the field at the Northern Pride everything is taken care of and that allows you to focus on your
"Honestly, I think there’s a lot of strength to the team. I feel I can definitely add more to what is already a good side and make sure they get into the play-offs and push into the top end of the competition."
A versatile player who could line up in either the forwards, backs or halves, Demetriou played for Super League clubs Widnes and Wakefield in a glittering career.
While at Wakefield, Demetriou was named captain and won the club’s player of the year three times (2004, 2006, 2007).
He was also picked in the 2007 Super League Dream Team at centre and was shortlisted alongside Trent Barrett and James Roby for the year’s Man of Steel award.
It’s an impressive playing resume, but coaching is where Demetriou wants to shine now.
"I always wanted to get into that side of the game," Demetriou said.
"As a captain at a Super League club you probably get more involved in the coaching set-up than most players.
"I got a fantastic opportunity to go to Keighley for a few years and it’s been a great stepping stone to move to the Northern Pride."
Northern Pride chief executive Chris Sheppard has no doubt Demetriou is the right man for the job.
"I think he can definitely add a lot to the Pride," Sheppard said.
"We’ve got a lot of the talent here. We probably have to tweak a few key positions, but other than that the majority of the squad is there.
"It’s just a matter of working with them and refining what we’ve got and then we can go a long way."
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UK journeyman: Jason Demetriou has signed a two-year deal to coach the Northern Pride. Picture: GETTY IMAGES