Cowboys close in on their man
NRL State Championship winners the Northern Pride may soon be on the lookout for a new coach with Jason Demetriou close to finalising a deal to join Paul Green as an assistant coach at the North Queensland Cowboys in 2015.
After a stellar playing and coaching career in England, Demetriou has guided the Cairns-based Pride to consecutive minor premierships in the past two seasons with the side defeating Easts Tigers to claim this year's Intrust Super Cup crown.
A week later they travelled to Sydney to take on VB NSW Cup champions the Penrith Panthers and defied the odds to win that fixture 32-28 on NRL Grand Final day.
With Terry Matterson's move to join Neil Henry as an assistant at the Titans, a spot has opened up on the Cowboys' coaching roster and football manager Peter Parr told NRL.com that they are hopeful that Demetriou will be that man.
"If he was to stay with the Pride then that would also be a good result for us because of our close ties there but if he does choose to link with an NRL club then we certainly hope it is with us," Parr said.
With Shaun Nona joining the Melbourne Storm, Blake Leary signing to play with Manly and Ben Spina finally earning a contract with the Cowboys, if Demetriou was to join them in the departure lounge it would leave the champions with some massive holes to fill.
Irish international Tyrone McCarthy has already headed home to link with Hull KR in the English Super League and was effusive in his praise of Demetriou's credentials to be a top-class coach in the NRL.
"His ability to motivate the boys is second to none and his man management... To me he's the whole package," McCarthy told NRL.com after their State Championship triumph.
"I'm sure he'd be the first to tell you himself that there is still some stuff to learn along the way but he's been an outstanding coach for me this year. I've come over here to gain some confidence and I've certainly got that from him."
Born in Sydney, the 38-year-old's career took off when he went to England in 2000 where he played with Widnes before becoming a highly admired figure at Wakefield over seven seasons.
He was captain-coach of the Keighley Cougars in the English lower divisions from 2011-2012 and in two seasons with the Pride has won 40 from 49 games at a winning percentage of 82 per cent after the club failed to qualify for the finals in 2012.