Stacey Jones: 'To now have a full-time job like this back
at the Warriors is perfect.'
The 'Little General' is back at the Warriors, this time
as one of Matt Elliott's key lieutenants.
Stacey Jones, the most decorated player in the Auckland
club's history, is returning, this time in a full-time
coaching and recruitment role.
One of his principal roles will be as halves coach, not just
for the first grade squad but teams across the club. He will
also be club development coach and will be heavily involved
in the new Auckland schoolboy 1st XIII competition, a joint
venture between the Auckland Rugby League and the Warriors.
"We couldn't be happier having someone of Stacey's standing
returning to the club," said Warriors general manager
football operations Dean Bell.
"Following on from Ruben Wiki'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
Elliott was heavily involved in getting the 36-year-old Jones
on board and it is a smart move.
Jones adds impetus to the Warriors' brains trust and
additional local flavour to the coaching staff, balanced
alongside Elliott and Andrew McFadden. He also appeals as
mentor for Shaun Johnson, who struggled with the demands of
the playmaking role last season.
Jones had a club record 12 seasons as a player at Mt Smart
(1995-2005 and 2009) plus another as part-time kicking coach
in 2008. Over the past three seasons, he has been involved in
a coaching capacity with the Point Chevalier Pirates and also
employed as the ARL's football development officer.
"To now have a full-time job like this back at the Warriors
is perfect," said Jones.
"There are so many good things going on with the club at the
"I can't wait to be involved again with the new football
staff and the new direction."
Bell said Jones would take over as development coach from
Willie Swann, who becomes Junior Warriors assistant coach
alongside John Ackland. Jones will also manage the club's
pathways for all players.
"This is an area of the role which Matt places special value
on in terms of his vision for the club," said Bell.
"It will see Stacey having the responsibility of ensuring all
our young players progress to the different levels of the
game at the appropriate stage of their development."
- By Michael Burgess