Playmaker turns game planner

Mike Delany, the new Steamers assistant coach pictured here playing against Waikato in 2017.

He was a one test All Black, played 77 games for the Steamers, dabbled with the Crusaders, Highlanders  and Chiefs and also plied his trade around the European club circuit .

Now, after 13 years of professional rugby, Mike Delany the versatile playmaker who covered first five and fullback will add assistant coach to his impressive resume. Delany has joined the Steamers’ coaching staff for this year’s Mitre 10 Cup.

“I’ve always wanted to get into coaching,” says Mike. “And being fresh out of the game, I think I have a pretty good understanding of what players are going through and the way the game is being played.”

“We’ve got a pretty good group at the moment. There is quite a bit of training going on behind the scenes. I think we’re tracking at a really good place at the moment and I think we’ve got a really strong squad.”

Delany will join Mike Rogers and Marty Bourke as assistant coaches under head coach Clayton McMillan.

“I’m confident that they bring some energy and new ideas that will help us. Their work ethic and their eagerness are really transparent and I’m sure it’s rubbing off on the players.”

Rogers and Bourke coached the Bay Under-19 men’s squad to the Union’s first national provincial title in 42 years. “They’ve come through a traditional coaching pathway, coached at club level, age grade level sat and been on numerous coaching courses, so they’ve done their time and they’ve also had some success,” says Clayton.

McMillan will be the defensive coach, Rogers will focus on the scrum, ball into contact, the breakdown and collision areas, while Bourke and Delany will focus on attack, kick strategy and counterattack.

Clayton says Delany has played under a long list of high-quality coaches from all over the world and has accumulated a lot of knowledge which has accelerated his ability to come into this role as a skills specialist McMillan says.

“But his most recent exposure was with the Crusaders last year when they won the Super Rugby title for the ninth time. Those experiences are not easily replicated even for the hardest working coach. I think it brings a pretty good balance to our coaching team.”