This Saturday the Illawarra Steelers SG Ball side play in the Grand Final against Manly at the new Bankwest Stadium.
The team has a very Thirroul flavour about it starting at the top with coach Ben Linde, assistant Paul Hatchell and strength and Conditioner Dan Nolan and has 5 Thirroul juniors players as well.
Linde has come through the ranks of the Illawarra coaching system to where he is today. Starting out in 2014 with the under 14 CRL team and moving up the age groups each year to U15’s, assistant coach of Harold Matts in 2016, head coach Harold Matts 2017-18, U20’s assistant and this year head coach of the very successful SG Ball (U18’s). Ben has also coached numerous junior teams with the Thirroul club as well
“Its a funny story how I got into coaching, as a player I was adamant I’d never coach, it just never interested me. I sort of inherited the coaching job of my son AJ’s U10’s team and I’ve never looked back. 11 years on and I absolutely love the challenges it brings. Seeing improvement in young men on and off the field, it’s so rewarding.”
Like all good coaches Linde would one day like to take up coaching on a full time basis.
Besides the 5 Butchers juniors in the team Aaron Schop, Conner Mulhieson, Trent Griffiths, Jackson Shereb and Ammon Munroe, Linde pointed out his halves pairing of Jayden Sullivan and Junior Amone along with prop Josh Coric, Tyrell Sloan and twins Matt and Max Feagai are ones to look for bu knows its a team game and his entire team are the reason why they have a shot at winning the comp.
“We are fit and skilful, I truely believe we have the team to execute our plan and get the job done”
Dan Nolan another one from the Thirroul stable came onboard this year with the team to provide professional advice on strength and conditioning and has excelled in his own right.
We wish Ben, Dan and the 5 boys along with the entire team all the best for Saturday.
The game can be live streamed on the NSWRL website from 3pm https://www.nswrl.com.au