Mark Gliddon joins USA Hawks Coaching Staff
Gliddon joins the USA team currently in his 4th year of coaching the Brisbane Norths Devils who play in the Intrust Super Cup (QRL) competition and has also coached representative and national level youth teams.
Gliddon originally applied for the role in early 2016 shortly following the USA winning their region at the Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers in Florida beating both Jamaica and Canada. The USA Hawks recently received the tragic news that Brett Kimmorley would be standing down from the assistant coaching role due to the loss of his wife Sharnie.
Speaking about his appointment, Gliddon said the opportunity to guide a developing nation at this year's Rugby League World Cup was one that he was eager to take up.
“This is a great opportunity to improve my skills working under Mac (Brian McDermott) who I consider a highly successful and skilled Rugby League coach. I’m really looking forward to being a part of the 2017 World Cup with the USA Hawks who have great potential and are a developing country on their way up,” Gliddon said.
The Rugby League World Cup 2017 will be only the second time USA has qualified for the sport's pinnacle international event and USARL Chairman, Peter Illfield, said the appointment of Mark Gliddon only improves their chances heading into a tough draw against Fiji, Italy and PNG.
“We first met Mark in 2015 when reaching out to clubs in Australia for opportunities to utilize their resources in placing USA domestic players in strong competitions. Mark comes to us, with a wealth of hands-on coaching knowledge and experience, from one of the most progressive Rugby League clubs in Australia. As a full-time Coaching & Development Manager for Norths Devils, coaching their QLD Cup team and intimate relationship with Brisbane Broncos, Mark can cover a multitude of coaching and administrative tasks that will enhance the USA Hawks team while being of great value to Head Coach McDermott.”
USA coach Brian McDermott was also quick to praise the selection despite a number of excellent candidates who stepped forward. “It's an added bonus to get Mark Gliddon on board as another assistant coach in preparation for the World Cup. Mark’s knowledge of the Townsville / PNG area where we are based and his further knowledge of the players we'll be facing is a real coup for us. Mark coaches against PNG teams regularly and will give us great insight into how to prep for one of the competitions' dark horses.”
McDermott continued, “I'm looking forward to working with both Mark Gliddon, whose experience of coaching in a competition one below the NRL and Sean Rutgerson, who is currently over in the USA deeply immersed in preparing our American based members of the squad. I'm confident that our preparations are steadily coming together and we're getting ever closer to being a well prepared outfit come our first game against Fiji in Townsville.”
The USA Hawks currently with a World Ranking #10 come into the 2017 Rugby League World Cup facing three new international opponents in the shape of Fiji Bati, Italian Azzurri and Papua New Guinea Kumuls.
The USA team includes players such as Mark Offerdahl, Eddy Pettybourne, Joseph Paulo, Junior VaiVai and Ryan Burroughs.
- USA v Fiji in Townsville on 28/10/2017
- USA v Italy in Townsville on 05/11/2017
- USA v Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on 12/11/2017