Bulls score Prescott
By TONY SMITH - The Press | Tuesday, 13 May 2008
AT THE HELM: Phil Prescott has been appointed as director of coaching to oversee the Canterbury Bulls' three representative teams.
A former Kiwis assistant coach hailed as the best rugby league coach in New Zealand has been appointed as director of coaching to oversee the Canterbury Bulls' three representative teams.
Phil Prescott, who led the Bulls to the 2003 Bartercard Cup title and also coached New Zealand A and New Zealand Residents representative teams, will work with the Bulls senior squad and the 18s and 16s age-group teams.
Former Kiwis prop Brent Stuart, who guided the Bulls to the play-offs last season in his first season in charge, will resume his partnership with Dave Perkins as the coaches of this year's senior representative team.
Two more ex-Kiwis, Mike Dorreen and Logan Edwards, will continue as the 18 grade coaches, while Canterbury's former coaching development officer, Jeff Whittaker, will run the 16s with Tom Ball. All three teams will be known as the Canterbury Bulls.
Canterbury Rugby League general manager Graeme Sole said he was delighted to secure Prescott's services. "We can't afford to let someone with Phil's experience and knowledge of the game slip through our fingers."
Sole said the director of coaching role would ensure "conformity between the teams, so that when players are promoted through the grades they are already familiar with attacking and defensive patterns and calls."
Prescott, who was one of former Kiwis coach Gary Kemble's assistants last year, is back coaching Hornby in the Canterbury club premiership.
He said yesterday that he had not held a director of coaching role before, "but it will be a good experience".
"It's something that maybe should have happened before."
But Prescott, who coached the Bulls for seven seasons while holding down a full-time job, said coaches "pretty much had your hands full with one team" in the Bartercard Cup era.
While Stuart was deeply disappointed at the decision to dump the Bartercard Cup, he has bounced back on the club scene as coach of Papanui.
"I was pretty stoked to get the job (as Bulls coach) again," he said.
"I felt last year went quite good and I think I've still got something to offer."
Stuart has been impressed with the number of young players putting their hands up in club football and plans to name a training squad after the East-West trial match on June 2.
The representative season starts on the weekend of August 23 and 24 and involves Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty and Auckland. The final will be in Auckland in September.