Damian Bryant, inaugural Evans Head coach.
Damian Bryant, inaugural Evans Head coach.

Bomber Bryant

THE Evans Head Bombers have enlisted six-time premiership player Damian Bryant to coach their inaugural Retravision Northern League first grade squad.

 Although Bryant, 32, is a rookie in the coaching game, he plans to draw on the experiences of playing under three different premiership-winning coaches.

He won four premierships with Marist Brothers under Michael Woods before claiming the 1996 title with Cudgen and Jamie Mathiou.

His last season in league saw him win the 1997 title with Mullumbimby under Damon Scott before he converted to rugby union and was part of the mighty Ben Grayndler-coached Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers 2008 third grade joint-premiers team.

“They (his coaches) have all been very different and if I can draw from what they’ve done and get the team enjoying there football ... it all helps,” Bryant said.

Bryant’s appointment has added to the excitement surrounding the club following on from their reserve grade grand final berth this season.

“The main thing is, he brings success with him,” said Evans Head operations manager, Brad Mayes.
“He’s played for three clubs and won three different grand finals.

“We’re really excited about it.

“The talks we’ve had with him have been really good and he has impressed the committee.
“He hasn’t got any coaching experience but he has been coached by the best. Being a new club, we’re only too happy to give him a go.”

Although delighted with the position, Bryant was a little nervous when first approached.

“I was thinking about doing some coaching soon – not quite as soon as this but because it’s come about I’ve grabbed it with both hands,” he said.

“When the football career started winding down ... the body starts to feel the knocks and I was thinking about what I could do rather than give up completely.

“This is a whole new challenge. A whole new step.”

Willie Simpson has been re-appointed as reserve grade coach.

“He was the only guy we wanted for the job,” Mayes said.

Bryant is in the process of finalising his playing roster but did confirm Marist Brothers prop and arguably the best forward in the group, Tim Tregdigo has signed with the Bombers.

“I’m looking to sign players and hunting around to see who’s available,” he said.

“I’m not going to go around poaching players, but just let them know I’m coaching and looking for players and if they’re are looking for a change, they’re quite welcome to come down and have a run.”

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