New role for Bell at Vodafone Warriors
Tuesday 16 October 2012 3:11 PM
Foundation captain Dean Bell has today been appointed General Manager Football Operations in the Vodafone Warriors’ restructured football department.
Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said the newly-created position was one of the key outcomes of the internal and external reviews the club had conducted since July.
Bell (50), who retains his recruitment and development portfolio, said he relished the opportunity of working in the role with new head coach Matthew Elliott.
“I’m excited about the direction we’re heading in, about Matt’s vision for the club and I’m determined to play a big part in it,” he said.
“My job will be to ensure the operational side of our football department is fully integrated and provides seamless support for Matt so he can focus purely on football and especially our NRL team.
“This club means a lot to me. One of the proudest moments of my career was leading the team onto the field that very first night against Brisbane in 1995.
“I’m more passionate than ever about rugby league and want to do all I can to help our club reach its true potential. Pride drove me as a player and it still drives me now in wanting to achieve the best for the Vodafone Warriors.”
Scurrah said Bell’s appointment was integral to strengthening the club’s football programme.
“We couldn’t be more delighted to have someone of Dean’s calibre to fill this critical role as we look towards our 2013 campaign and beyond,” said Scurrah.
“It’s a position which will see Dean charged with covering all operational aspects of the club’s football programme from our development squad, through our NYC set-up, the Vulcans and our NRL team.
“The role will complement Matt’s position, giving him vital support to concentrate on all coaching, training and other demands in the football area with special focus on our NRL team.
“Dean’s pedigree in the game is second to none. It’s fantastic to have true rugby league expertise in a position like this for the first time working alongside our head coach.”
While Elliott was confirmed as head coach only last Friday, he said he was thrilled about the prospect of having Bell’s support as General Manager Football Operations.
“Dean was involved in the coaching appointment process and I was totally impressed with his input throughout,” he said.
“There are few players who have achieved as much in our great game as he has and I know that will be of enormous value as we work together to maximise the club’s potential.”
After his one-year stint as the then-Auckland Warriors’ foundation captain in 1995, Bell returned to England before coming home permanently to take up a welfare and recruitment role with the Vodafone Warriors in 2007.
He finished his playing career after the 1995 seasons as arguably the most-decorated player in New Zealand rugby league history. A 26-Test veteran, he made 253 appearances for Wigan during a trophy-laden eight seasons. Seven times he went to Wembley for the Challenge Cup final and won every time, three of them as captain, while he was also a championship winner with Wigan six times. The Lance Todd Trophy winner (man of the match) in the 1993 Challenge Cup final, he has been inducted as a New Zealand Rugby League ‘Immortal’ and ‘Legend’ while he is also in Wigan’s ‘Hall of Fame’.
Born: April 29, 1962
Birthplace: Auckland, NZ
Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager, 2009-
Vodafone Warriors NRL football manager, 2010
Vodafone Junior Warriors NYC football manager, 2008-2009
Vodafone Warriors welfare and recruitment manager, 2007
Kiwi football manager, 2008-2009
Wigan rugby executive, 2000-2007
Leeds head coach, 1996-97
Leeds academy head coach, 1998-99
New Zealand – Manukau, Auckland Warriors
England – Carlisle, Leeds, Wigan
Australia – Eastern Suburbs
New Zealand, New Zealand Maori, Auckland, South Island, Oceania, Rest of
the World, Cumbria
Kiwi No: 574 (1983-1989)
Tests: 26, four Tests as captain including 1988 World Cup final
Test Tries: 11
Games: 10 (1985-1987)
Club No: 1
Tries: 3 tries
Eastern Suburbs 1985-1988
Club No 779
Games: 253 games
Challenge Cup winner seven times, three as captain
Championship winner six times
John Player Trophy winner five times
Premiership winner two times
Lancashire Cup winner four times
World Sevens winner once
Lance Todd Trophy winner 1993
Man of Steel winner 1992
NZRL Player of the Year 1987
NZ Maori Sports Personality of the Year 1994
Inducted into NZRL ‘Immortals’
Inducted into NZRL ‘Legends’
Inducted into Wigan ‘Hall of Fame’
‘This is Your Life’ recipient