Coaching lecturer Stuart Wilkinson has recently been appointed as City Reds' Junior Academy Assistant Coach. He brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously gained coaching experience with the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and led successful tours to Australia and New Zealand with England Academy.
Stuart commented: "I'm really excited about joining such a talented, honest and hard-working coaching team at Salford. I had no hesitation accepting Danny Barton’s (Player Performance Manager) offer as I've worked with a number of his staff over the years. The area has a tradition of producing some of the tough nuggets in the game and being part of their system provides an exciting challenge to me.”
Danny Barton added: "Stuart has developed his trade under some very good coaches at some very successful clubs and we're looking forward to what he will bring to Salford. He's very well thought of within the game and has got a lot of experience as a coach, so the input he'll have into the culture here will be invaluable. I've known him for a while now and he has never lost his enthusiasm for rugby league. He's a great person to have around the squad and he'll have a big part to play in what we are trying to achieve."
After 20 years playing professional rugby league, Stuart moved into full-time coaching to become the first Player Performance Manager in rugby league with Leeds Rhinos. He was then invited to join an elite group of rugby league coaches, the High Performance line and was appointed onto the coaching staff of the England Academy, which became the first team to beat New Zealand and Australia. Stuart is also former Head Coach of the full Welsh National team, Assistant Coach to the French National Team, The Russian Federation Head Coach as well as being Head of Youth at Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and Widnes Vikings. The Rhinos not only became Champions of the British game but also Champions of the World by beating Canterbury Bulldogs from Australia in 2005.
Talking about his career Stuart commented: “Probably my most memorable and unique coaching success was with the two successful tours with Great Britain Academy to New Zealand and Australia where we became the first touring international academy to beat both the junior Kiwis and Australian school boys in their own back yard to become number one in the world.
What was interesting was how resourceful we had to be as coaches. We had to combine our roles to encompass everything we could. We had very little support, no sports psychologist, no strength and conditioning coach, no nutritionist, no performance analyst. Just three good coaches and a physio that planned in great detail and executed everything professionally and sometimes did extraordinary things to help the players become the best in the world. Truly great men they have all become.”
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