Scott Murray will use his experience as an NRL player, coach, teacher and mentor in his new role as head coach of the Redcliffe Dolphins’ Intrust Super Cup team.
The hard work starts now, with preseason training beginning this week, as the side prepares for the season ahead.
Murray, who took on his first coaching gig about 20 years ago, says he’s ready to take the next step in his career.
“I’d like to think so. I’ve been coaching for - my first coaching experience was at the Roosters, I was looking after junior reps in 2002 - 20 years. That’s the thing about coaching you’ve got to be in with and around good people. I feel like I’ve done that, wherever I’ve been. I’ve been quite fortunate,” he says.
The former Roosters, Dragons, Rabbitohs and Sharks player made 50 first-grade appearances from 1992-2001 and coached U20s teams at the Roosters, Rabbitohs and Bulldogs before moving to Queensland to take on a teaching and coaching role at Redcliffe State High School in 2016.
The following year, he joined the Dolphins to coach the Colts. In 2018, then Intrust Super Cup team head coach Adam Mogg asked him to be his assistant.
“We had a great year with the Cup side winning the competition and I was his assistant again in 2019 and decided I wouldn’t mind trying to help out with some of the younger teams and did the Colts again,” Murray recalls.
He has been at the helm of the Colts for the past two years, while also teaching and running the rugby league program at Redcliffe State High School.
“I value the time I’ve had as an assistant coach in the Cup and I was able to see it from a different perspective and I learnt a lot in those two years, especially from Moggy. There will be some things we’ll probably do a little bit differently and some things that we (already) do really well here,” Murray says.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily about how we play the game, there will be a little bit of variation to that … some differences, but I guess it’s just my own philosophies on coaching and perhaps what’s important – some cultural things. We want (everyone) to understand what it means to play for this great club.
“I guess the expectations that go with that. We’ll have some new players, we’ll have quite a number of players who are coming back from this year again. I’ll lean on those experienced guys to guide some of the things we’re going to do.”
Murray says most of the 2021 squad will return, with the notable exception of Jayden Nikorima who has an opportunity to play at the Melbourne Storm.
Recruitment is ongoing but Murray says there’s no rush to fill the roster.
“We’ll have a strong squad again and obviously with our affiliation with the Warriors that are here in Redcliffe … I think that’s fantastic. It makes that transition a hell of a lot easier between the clubs, when those players are coming back from the Warriors to the Dolphins. They’re in the community, they know what it’s like and I think that will make it a lot easier,” he says.
He will be focused on communicating well with the Warriors to make the arrangement work for both clubs.
“I’ll be in and around the Warriors and what they’re doing to a certain extent. Just trying to get on the same wavelength and what we’re doing there with the footy side of things,” he says.
He is hoping for a better run with injuries in 2022 and more certainty with the NRL competition, after 47 players rotated through the Dolphins’ Intrust Super Cup side last season.
“When you bank on some players coming back from the Warriors who then couldn’t come back … that affects your squad. It was good on the other hand, I know as the Colts coach, we had five guys go on and make their Cup debuts this year,” he says.
Murray’s passion for developing young players has brought him to this point and he said he was keen to continue that in his new role, while balancing his responsibilities at Redcliffe State High School.
“I love teaching, I love coaching and we’ve worked really hard down there to build up our school and our rugby league excellence program. That’s something that I’m really invested in and junior development,” he says.
“A lot of the kids that have come through our school and our program down there are in our teams here at the Dolphins. I love seeing guys go on and do something special.
Playing at their home ground, Moreton Daily Stadium, on Grand Final day in 2022 is the goal he and the whole Dolphins squad will have in mind as they get back into training this week.
“We want success as a club and we want success as a team, there’s no doubt about that. It’s just so exciting, what’s happening within the community and the club with the NRL coming in,” he says.
“What a wonderful pathway that is now available to young players, whether you’re starting from six years of age to be able to aspire to play for the Dolphins in the NRL. You don’t have to go anywhere.”
And he is looking forward to the opportunity to learn from the master, Wayne Bennett.
“I’ve only spent a small amount of time with Wayne and I’m looking forward to spending more time with him and the opportunities that presents … what a wealth of knowledge, it’s amazing,” Murray says.
“Benny Ben Te'o has come on board as our under-21s as our Colts coach and for all the coaches within our programs to get that opportunity to listen, learn. It’s pretty cool.”
Find more sporting news here