Newly retained Head Coach, Zak Beer, says his continuation at the helm of Northern Suburbs is a further step toward the dream of a long-term career in rugby.
The 33-year-old was confirmed for the top job on Monday, continuing on from a successful – albeit shortened – 2021 season, which saw his Shoremen sitting comfortably in second position after the opening ten rounds.
After twelve seasons coaching at various levels throughout the Shute Shield, Beer admits it is an art he is constantly trying to develop.
“Whether it’s been in my corporate or rugby life, coaching is something I’ve always deliberately tried to become better at,” he said.
“I know that if I want to forge a successful career in coaching, I need to be able to grow and evolve in the role.
“I’m really excited to get that chance in 2022 and build on the success we saw this season.”
Beer’s debut season in the role saw Norths secure an eight-match winning streak to begin 2021, a stat bettered only by the undefeated Sydney Uni.
A key contributor to the Northern Suburbs hot form was their dogged defence, something Beer says was of particular significance to him. Norths conceded only 138-points throughout the shortened season, the least of any club in the competition, despite playing an extra match than most having not reached their bye round.
It’s foundations such as these which Beer is excited to evolve in 2022.
“We were really pleased with the style we were able to play this season,” he said.
“We showed we can play a really attractive brand of attacking rugby, but remain tactically smart on the defensive end when we need to be.
“Having the strongest defence in the competition is a trend I’ll be certainly looking to replicate next year.
“The other positive for us is that we were yet to implement many of our more developed game strategies in the latter parts of the season. We are able to now bottle those and earmark them for 2022.”
The former Manly coach also revealed that he has retained almost his entire 2021 squad for the upcoming Charter Hall Shute Shield season.
“This retention is something I’m really proud of and allows us stability moving forward,” Beer said.
“It’s pleasing to also have players from other Shute Shield clubs, or competitions around Australia and New Zealand contact us and want to get involved in our program.
“While I’m constantly promoting from our own talent pool, I’m also reviewing hours of footage to find players which can further our existing crop. I think striking a balance there is really important.”
An articulate and optimistic operator, Beer is a strong believer in identifying his squads journey and where they sit along that timeline.
He says Shute Shield success and silverware will be achieved through focusing on and owning that journey.
It’s belief such as this which will no doubt fill Norths fans with an abundance of confidence looking ahead to season 2022.
“Our journey is constantly evolving and there isn’t one moment where I look to draw the line in the sand,” he said.
“If our journey is focused on evolution, we will inevitably become the best version of ourselves as people, players and coaches.
“We want to look back on our story and be proud and happy with what we’ve achieved as a group. I’m confident we are on track to achieve that.”