Press Release – NZRL
John Ackland has today been announced as the National Game Development Manager at New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL). He will start the role at the end of October, after completing his coaching commitments with the Vodafone Junior Warriors.PRESS RELEASE
John Ackland Joins NZRL
Auckland, New Zealand, September 9, 2013 – John Ackland has today been announced as the National Game Development Manager at New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL). He will start the role at the end of October, after completing his coaching commitments with the Vodafone Junior Warriors.
Ackland has been the most successful coach in the history of the NRL’s National Youth Competition, winning the grand final with the Junior Warriors in 2010 and 2011 and sharing the minor premiership in 2012. This year his team are again involved in the finals series.
Ackland’s history is rich in coaching, including being the assistant coach of the Warriors’ NRL team and guiding Samoa at the 2008 World Cup. He has also spent plenty of time in grassroots rugby league, coaching the Mt Albert reserve grade side, taking the Mt Albert premiers to a Bartercard Cup title and coaching the St Paul’s College 1st XIII. But coaching is only part of his story. He was the NZ-based recruitment officer for the Canterbury Bulldogs when they signed Sonny Bill Williams, Roy Asotasi, Issac Luke and Hutch Maiava. He is a trained school teacher with an MA in History and Political Studies. He also knows about personal performance, having had a major playing career with Mt Albert, Auckland and playing a test for the Kiwis in 1983. He represented Auckland at cricket too.
“We’re delighted that John’s immense knowledge and expertise are staying in rugby league in New Zealand,” says the NZRL’s CEO Phil Holden. “His appointment will further strengthen the player pathways within our country.”
The National Game Development Manager role sees Ackland responsible for leading, developing and implementing all game development initiatives in New Zealand, including increasing participation. He will provide leadership, support and direction to coaching and development staff across the NZRL’s Zones, Districts and Clubs.