Kicking off 2017 season
RUGBY LEAGUE: Tannum Seagulls have turned to youth by appointing a rookie coach for the 2017 season.
Kevin Bartley, 26, will take over from Sione Tongia after playing his first full season for the club in 2016.
Originally from Emerald, Bartley, has played rugby league since the age of nine, starting as a junior with the Emerald Tigers before switching to the Emerald Cowboys prior to arriving in Gladstone.
A diesel fitter by trade, Bartley isn't afraid of getting dirty both on and off the field and will take on the extra responsibility of captain/coach for the 'Gulls after volunteering for the role.
"I put my hand up because there was no one else keen to do it,” Bartley said.
"I know the other coaches really well so they said it would be good of me to do it.
"I've got a lot of connections and staff who are helping me out with pre-season plans.”
Reserves coach John Goss and under-20s coach Wayne Warry will mentor the rookie coach, with club president Shane Kenwood set to fill in for Bartley when he is unavailable because of work commitments.
Despite his youth and lack of coaching experience, the 26-year-old is keeping an open mind about his new responsibilities.
"I'm easy going and easy to talk to,” he said.
"Because I'm only young I've told the boys if they've got any input they want to throw in at training, just do it. I've definitely been thrown in the deep end.”