ST Pat’s front row destroyer Greg Behan has been announced as the club’s new Group 10 premier league coach for 2018.
Behan was asked if he was interested in taking over the role after current mentor Kurt Hancock told the club he would step away from the top job at season’s end.
The announcement ends Hancock’s successful four-year stint as coach.
In that time the Saints claimed the 2014 premiership and played finals football over the following two years.
The decision was finalised at a club meeting on Monday night and Behan was more than happy to accept the job when asked by club officials on Tuesday morning.
“Kurt Hancock was actually the originator of the whole thing, saying he wasn’t going to stay on at the end of the year. He approached me, being one of the senior players in the team, and asked me if I was interested in the job,” Behan said.
“I’ve had some experience coaching 18s and league tag before but this will be my first senior role. I’m really looking forward to it and it’s great to know you’ve got the club behind you.”
Behan came across from the Bathurst Panthers for the 2017 season and in the space of one year he’s made a big impression with their cross city rivals.
The prop has proven difficult for opposition defences to handle when he gets momentum going in an improved season of play.
Now he gets the chance to show another side of his game in a leadership role.
This season might not have been the winning one the Saints hoped for, missing the finals, but Behan said he’s enjoying his football more than ever.
“This year I’ve never been happier, believe it or not. It’s a wonderful club to be a part of because despite losing match matches than we would have liked it was good to always have the guys there supporting you,” he said.
“There’s a good feeling around the club. It’s a very young side with a lot of potential. There’s going to be a few players we might need to bring in but we’ve got a good young group here at the moment.
“The teams that I’ve been with before – Panthers and Oberon – have had a strong local base to build off and now they’re seeing the rewards for keeping them around.”
Pat’s president Dave Chapman said Behan’s enthusiasm made him an ideal choice for the job.
“His passion for the job is outstanding. He took a crack at organising the attack and rallying the troops towards the end of the season and did a great job. When he’s fit and injury free he’s been a shining light for us this year,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do next year. We have a vision for the future and he’s an important part of it.
“He was the main fish for us to catch for next season. Rival Group 10 clubs have been very complimentary after playing against Greg this year.
“He’s shown the ideal behaviours we want from a leader and I’ve heard he’s got some great ideas for the team.”
Behan’s transition to coach will coincide with the Saints’ move to the new club complex on Hereford Street.
The Saints will hoping the combination of a new ground and coach can usher in a promising era of football.