Australian based English coach Lee Addison is thought to be a front runner for the vacant North Wales Crusaders Head Coach job.
The Salford born coach has been based in Australia since 2007, and can count spells on the staff at Manly Sea Eagles and Penrith Panthers on his list of achievements, as well as a three year stint as Assistant Coach and Coaching Director of the USA Tomahawks for their successful World Cup Qualifying and Finals campaigns in 2011 and 2013.
It is in the Schoolboy game in Australia, however, where the work of Addison, 37 has started to invite interest from clubs around the globe. Addison led famous NRL nursery St Gregory’s to back to back Premierships in 2010 and 2011 before taking Ipswich State High in Queensland from 3rd division obscurity to one of Australia’s top schools in only three short years. He also coached the Ipswich Diggers Men’s representative side to their first championship in over 50 years in 2016, in matches watched by England coach Wayne Bennett.
Josh Bretherton, Addison’s assistant coach with Ipswich High and the Diggers said “Lee coming to Australia has been the UK’s loss and our gain. He absolutely revolutionised how footy was played at our school and we are now the equals of some of the best schools in Australia and not only that, it happened in the blink of an eye too. The profile of our school is now huge on the back of this.
“We knew it was always a matter of time until he attracted interest from some top clubs. If there is no job for him at a club in the UK then all I can say is you must have some damn good coaches over there, because Lee has proven time and time again what abilities he has got. If he repeats what he has done in Ipswich on the professional circuit then that particular club is in for a very enjoyable ride.”
“I’ll come home for the right job” was all Addison said when contacted about the North Wales vacancy “My desire would be to get some instant results but also build a club for the long term. I’ve helped develop a lot of juniors over here that have gone on to NRL, including WIll Hopoate, Clint Gutherson, James Tedesco and Dallin Watene Zaleniak so I’ve seen it work as a cheaper way to build a team. I would want to join a club that has this vision too and allows me the time to develop a junior pathway like I have here.”