Stacey Jones returns for Warriors in new role

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 11/11/2012
Stacey Jones
Fairfax NZ
STACEY JONES: The New Zealand Warriors legend is returning to the club in a recruitment role.

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The 'Little General' is back.

Stacey Jones, the man who epitomises the spirit and passion of the Warriors more than any other, has rejoined the club in a fulltime role.

Jones has been appointed to a new position of juniors recruitment and pathways coach, while the role will extend to helping to coach the halves at the Warriors.

The 36-year-old Jones played 261 games for the Warriors over 12 years and worked as the team's part-time kicking coach in 2008. He follows another club legend, Ruben Wiki, who rejoined as the team's conditioning coach.

Warriors general manager football operations Dean Bell says he is delighted to be able to bring Jones back into the fold.

"We couldn't be happier having someone of Stacey's standing returning to the club in this role," Bell said.

"Following on from Ruben's appointment a week ago, Stacey is also keen to pursue his future as a coach, and this is an ideal opportunity for him to develop.

"Besides key responsibilities in recruitment and coaching in our development system, having our halves throughout the club mentored by one of the game's greatest halfbacks is hugely exciting.

"[Head coach] Matt [Elliott] was keen to create this role in the club and to also have Stacey taking it on."

Jones has spent the last three years coaching his old Point Chevalier club and more recently working as the Auckland Rugby League's football development officer.

"I'm so excited about coming back into the club in this role," Jones said.

"I've learned so much working with the Auckland Rugby League recently and also coaching at grassroots level with the Pirates.

"To now have a fulltime job like this back at the Warriors is perfect.

"There are so many good things going on with the club at the moment. I can't wait to be involved again with the new football staff and the new direction." Wiki said it was fantastic to have Jones back.

"It is great to bring the legend back," Wiki said.

"I know he's got a lot of experience in the halves situation and we need a bit of work with that, so it's very beneficial to have Stacey back on board.

Having the greats of the club involved pass on the culture of the Warriors is vital to those young players looking to make a name for themselves in league.

"It is about nurturing the boys through the process in knowing what it's all about to be a professional athlete," Wiki said.

"It is a fulltime job and it's the best job to have."

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