New Coach for Auckland Vulcans
Vodafone Warriors development coach Ricky Henry has been named as his replacement for the Auckland Vulcans for the 2012 New South Wales Cup season.
The Vodafone Warriors and the Auckland Vulcans jointly announced Henry’s appointment today following the decision by 2011 NSW Cup coach of the year Richie Blackmore to pursue his coaching career in England.
In his first season in the role, Blackmore guided the Vulcans to their first grand final since joining the competition in 2007, only to lose 28-30 in the dying seconds to minor premier Canterbury-Bankstown.
Henry, a Warriors reserve grade player in the 1990s, has been earmarked as a coach on the rise. Following success at club level with Richmond, he has been involved with the Vodafone Warriors since coming on board in 2008.
He started out as assistant development coach before being promoted in 2010 and last year he guided the New Zealand Resident 18s, drawing a two-match series with the Australian Schoolboys.
“There are a few nerves but really I’m just excited about the opportunity,” said Henry, who steps into his new job a month out from the NSW Cup season starting.
“I’ve been able to work alongside some excellent people at the Vodafone Warriors. Being able to take on this new role shows the club has great pathways in place.”
Vulcans general manager Steve Brewster said Henry’s elevation reinforced the opportunities on offer to coaches through the Auckland Rugby League and the Vodafone Warriors.
“Richie made an enormous contribution last year after coming up through the local system and we wish him all the best in England,” he said.
“While the Vulcans will miss his inspirational approach it’s important to provide opportunities not only for our players but also for coaches like Ritchie & Ricky as well as local officials.”
Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Dean Bell echoed the sentiments.
“For both of us, the priority is to develop our local talent and to provide pathways for them in their endeavours to further their careers,” he said.
“Ricky has been able to make his way as a coach through the Auckland competition, the Vodafone Warriors and also with the New Zealand Resident 18s. We’re thrilled for him that he can now take another step up.”
Brewster said Blackmore was set to link up with English club Leigh.
Former Kiwi Blackmore played for the Vodafone Warriors as well as English clubs Castleford and Leeds. He took over as Vulcans coach after success with the Otahuhu Leopards in the Auckland club competition.
Brewster said Blackmore’s ability to blend the Vodafone Warriors’ professional players with the Auckland competition’s amateurs was a key factor in the Vulcans making their first grand Final appearance since they joined the NSW Cup in 2007.
From the Vulcans facebook page.