Coaching hopefuls form scrum


PUT your thinking caps on Comets fans.

Applications for next year's head coaching position have closed, with the Rockhampton club receiving an overwhelming list of candidates.

While Comets management was yesterday reluctant to release any names, the 30-plus contenders include a former NRL coach of the year, premiership-winning assistant coach, former Super League coach and national team assistant coach. Souths Logan mentor Phil Economidis, a Dally M coach of the year winner with the Gold Coast in 1997, had previously expressed his interest in the fulltime position.

Another NRL coach of the year is former Kiwi coach Daniel Anderson, who joined English club St Helens last month. Comets coach Neale Crow will step down at the end of this year's Queensland Cup after three years at the helm.

Amid the speculation, Comets chief executive Jamie Boon said the club was impressed with the quality of the applicants. "When we first advertised, I didn't feel we would receive this much interest,'' Boon said.

"We've now obviously got to find the right candidate.'' A three-member selection panel, guided by a representative from the Comets' NRL feeder-club the North Queensland Cowboys, will short-list the leading candidates in the next week.

Boon said the selected candidate had several key duties, including, the contribution to the promotion and implementation of the club's mission, the development of coaching principles and strategies, and building relationships with key stakeholders in the Central Queens- land region.

"There is also an expectation that the successful applicant will be getting out and about and fostering the young talent in this area,'' Boon said.

The Comets return to Rockhampton's Browne Park on Saturday night when they take on competition heavyweights the Norths Devils.

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