Strong city links hold Jets coach in good stead
RUGBY LEAGUE: Recently appointed Ipswich Jets assistant coach Mark Bishop knows many of the current players well and he expects those established relationships to prove beneficial as the club strives to return to the Intrust Super Cup finals next season.
The Jets missed the finals for the first time in the Walkers tenure this year.
With the the men who gave the club its identity opting to move on, 2015 premiership captain Keiron Lander has been named head coach to lead the Jets forward and Bishop his trusted consigliere.
The duo have an opportunity to rejuvenate the playing group and re-imagine its style of play.
Long-term Ipswich man Bishop is well-credentialed to take on the responsibility.
Over the course of a successful coaching career in the region dating back more than 20 years he has become familiar with the way the game is played here and what it means to locals.
He was introduced to coaching while linked to Brothers from 1997-2005 before spending a stint at the Rosewood Roosters.
Bishop arrived at the Jets at the same time as Lander in 2010.
He coached colts for three years, assisted the FOGS reserve grade outfit for two years and was head coach of that team for three years, taking the team to the 2015 premiership.
The experienced taskmaster has also coached several Ipswich Diggers teams in various age groups over the years.
Most recently, he coached the Mal Meninga Colts last year and was involved with the club as a trainer this season.
He has seen many of the current players develop and mature, and believes he knows how to get the best out of them.
"Footy is a simple game," Bishop said.
"You don't need to overcomplicate it. These guys are a higher quality footballer. They all know what they are doing and the majority of the squad is excited by a new challenge."
Bishop has also watched Lander come of age and turn into one of the state league's great leaders of men.
He expects that strength of leadership to translate into Lander's coaching but will be on hand to offer support and ensure a smooth transition.