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Kemp Named As NZRL's New Football Manager

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Kemp Named As NZRL's New Football Manager

Former Kiwi and current high performance director Tony Kemp has today been appointed the New Zealand Rugby League's new football manager.

The football manager's role was one of three new senior jobs identified by NZRL chief executive Jim Doyle when he unveiled a revamped management structure in late October.

"We received a significant number of high-quality applications but Tony stood out as the best choice for what is a critical position in our strategy to create a robust and effective football department," said Doyle.

"He covers so many bases as a former international and experienced professional player as well as having a background in top-level coaching, serving as a national selector and working in the high performance area.

"He has been a wonderful support for me in the four months I've been with the NZRL and I now look forward to working with him to put together a department that will provide a clear direction for us as we look to develop the game to new heights across the country."

Taranaki-raised Kemp (41) appeared in 25 Tests for the Kiwis from 1989-1995 and played for several clubs in Australia and England including Newcastle, Castleford and Leeds. He later joined the Vodafone Warriors' coaching staff as Daniel Anderson's assistant, going on to fill the head coach's position in 2004-2005.

"This is a wonderful opportunity and I'm grateful to be given the chance," he said.

"It has been a nervous time going up against a lot of other well-qualified people and I'm excited about the future I have in trying to help rugby league in this country.

"So much work has been done to rebuild the game in New Zealand but there is much we still have to do. That's a challenge I want to be part of."

As a consequence of Kemp's elevation to lead the NZRL's football department, his vacant high performance manager's position will have to be filled. Doyle said this would now become a priority.

He added Kemp would lead a department comprising not only the high performance manager but also the still-to-be-appointed coaching and development manager as well as the competitions commissioner and the national referees' co-ordinator.

Doyle said he also expected to be able to make announcements soon about the successful applicants for the other new senior role of marketing and sponsorship manager as well as a junior level position of communications officer.

He reiterated the management restructure was designed to help the NZRL in its mission to rebuild rugby league's public image, to secure significant sponsorship, to improve its communications with its members and to work a lot harder at grass roots level.

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