Rohan Smith addresses the media for the first time today since being appointed as Bradford’s new head coach, but League Express spoke to him last week! Check out the full article below.
Bradford Bulls’ new head coach Rohan Smith has set his sights on overseeing the club’s return to domestic domination.
Smith was appointed as James Lowes’ successor last week after the Gold Coast Titans granted him a release from his contract as assistant coach to sign a three-year deal with Bradford.
The 35-year-old continues a family Rugby League tradition, following in the footsteps of his father Brian and uncle Tony in becoming a head coach on British soil, with Rohan now tasked with helping the Bulls rekindle their past glories following a long period of turmoil that has resulted in the club now playing in the second tier of the game.
He comes into the job with the Bulls third in the Championship and just one point clear of dropping out of the top four. But Smith already has higher aspirations for his time at the club.
“I’m an ambitious guy and the club is too,” he told League Express.
“It’s not just about getting back into Super League, it’s about being a force in Super League again.
“We understand that it is going to take some time to get to that point, but it’s about moving forward every day, every week and season on season to achieve that and it’s not a quick fix. The first thing we want to do is ensure we are a dominant team in the Championship and take it from there.
“Timescales will be something we discuss when I arrive and we can sit down and put some strategic planning in place. We have to be all pulling in the same direction and we have a map about how that’s going to happen.”
Smith, who is hoping to arrive in England at some point this week, has served a long apprenticeship as an assistant, learning his craft under the guise of some of the world’s leading coaches at Sydney Roosters, Newcastle Knights and New Zealand Warriors.
However, it was talking with the Bradford hierarchy that convinced him now was the time to make the leap of faith and take on the role as a head coach.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for the Bulls,” he said.
“So when the opportunity came up around it sounded like a good fit, especially after speaking to Steve (Ferres) and Marc (Green) about their commitment to rebuilding it to becoming a good club in Super League again. That goes with my beliefs about building the club from the bottom up and having a lot of local juniors come through the programme. There were a lot of things that made it feel right.
“I feel like I’ve had a good background and a lot of good experiences that will give me the best chance of building on the good work Jimmy and his staff have done over the last few years to get the Bulls in a position to build from.”
Smith started his career as a scout at the New Zealand Warriors and then moved through the ranks of the coaching staff before leaving to join the New Zealand international team as part of their coaching set up.
The Australian experienced his first taste of coaching on English soil, as he became the assistant at London Broncos and Harlequins in 2004.
In 2007, Smith became number two to father Brian at the Newcastle Knights, and also took charge of the Tongan national side prior to joining Sydney Roosters in 2010.
Following his time at the Roosters, he joined Penrith under NRL Grand Final coach Ivan Cleary for a season, before rejoining the Warriors as NSW Cup coach and then moving to the Titans.
“I have worked with some great coaches during my career; Trent Robinson, Matthew Elliott, Daniel Anderson, Jason Taylor, Rick Stone, and recently Neil Henry and Terry Matterson,” added Smith.
“This position I feel is something I have worked hard for and I’m ready to take it on.”