RUSHING BACK: Mick Rush has answered the call to again coach the Ipswich Eagles.
RUSHING BACK: Mick Rush has answered the call to again coach the Ipswich Eagles.

Rush returns to revive club

THE Ipswich Eagles have plumped for club legend Mick Rush to help revive their flagging fortunes after turning over five coaches in the past four years.

Rush led the club during its most successful period from 2004-08 and plans to return the Eagles to those glory days.

During his five years, the Eagles played in four finals series and two grand finals but fell short of the ultimate prize.

As a life member of the Eagles, Rush said he couldn't ignore the wave of support he received to again lead the Eagles.

"The club has obviously had a few issues with coaches over the years," Rush said. "A few of the players have encouraged me to come back.

"I've had quite a few texts since the end of the season.

"Some of the players are good mates of mine and I felt the club needed a coach to get the best from the players that are there."

Rush's appointment will be well received by many who haven't seen eye-to-eye with some of the coaches appointed since 2009.

That disconnect between coach and players shouldn't be a concern next year, according to club president Mick Whiteley.

"Things were a bit volatile with Dave (Hume) last year and in the end he probably fell on his own sword," Whiteley said.

"There is no doubt Rushy will bring stability back to the club.

"I was chairman of selectors when he was last at the club so I know the things he has done here.

"He is very good with the young guys, he has a long relationship with the more experienced blokes and he has a history of success."

Craig Harley, who stepped in as caretaker coach last season after Hume's early-season departure, will coach the reserve grade team.

Rush said he left because he felt it was the best thing for the development of the players.

Having watched on for four years, the 45-year-old said it was time to get back to what was successful in the past.

"Initially when I left in 2008, it was mainly because I'd been there five years and I thought the club needed a change," he said.

"We were very successful during that period with four finals series but didn't manage a premiership. I hoped a fresh pair of eyes might get the club over the line. It's been a bit frustrating watching coaches come and go and the players don't reach their potential because of that.

"My primary focus is to try to get the most out of the current playing group and get them successful on the field again.

"Some of the older guys will be back in the seniors next year offering leadership to the younger guys. I think it will be a better place to be around next year."

Rush in Charge

  • Mick Rush will return as senior coach of the Ipswich Eagles in 2013.
  • Coached 2004-2008
  • 4 finals and 2 grand finals
  • Ipswich Eagles life member
  • Coach of the Eagles 'Team of the Decade'


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