Matt Foster Resumes A Grade Role

A SECOND blast from the past has been confirmed in the Rugby League Gold Coast coaching ranks, with Matt Foster announced at Burleigh.

Foster was previously A-grade head coach in 2015 and 2016 – backing up a first-year premiership with a runners-up placing – before working with the Intrust Super Cup squad as an assistant.

“We had a debrief at the end of the year and Jimmy (Lenihan, ISC coach) and I had a chat about the best space for me and where I could be used most effectively.

“We have got a lot of juniors coming through – the team was very young last year for A-grade so he knows that I know the structures and systems with Queensland Cup so I’ll be able to develop those young kids coming through.”

Such has been the turnover of players at RLGC level that there are barely any familiar faces left from his last time at the helm.

“No, just Tyler Sparkes I think,” Foster laughed.

He resumes the role from Stu Wilkins, who in turn happily returns to being Foster’s assistant as he was two years ago.

Foster is the second premiership-winning coach to rejoin the competition, after Steve Dowd signed as Southport RLGC coach for next season.

“I was really keen,” Foster said.

With recruits Sam Saville and Conner Toia to add experience and quality to the squad, the Bears will be striving to ensure their absence from finals footy does not stretch beyond one year.

Wilkins was originally plucked from the club’s junior coaching circles to help the A-grade outfit and mentored them to the 2017 title before guiding their extremely young roster this year to within a whisker of a top five finish.

“I’m going away next year with my wife for her 50th so I’ll be away for four weeks,” he explained.

“I said to Jimmy, I’m happy to do whatever the club wants. I’m happy to coach but I do need some time off.”

Clay Harris steps up from A-grade assistant to join Lenihan’s trio of ISC assistants, also including ex-NRL players Matt Keating and Phil Graham.

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