Jimmy Maher confirmed as PIC Steelers assistant coach

Jimmy Maher confirmed as PIC Steelers assistant coach

Former PIC Steelers player Jimmy Maher has been confirmed as an assistant coach to Reon Graham for this year’s Bunnings Warehouse National Provincial Championship.

Maher, a talented loose forward, played 40 games for Counties Manukau from 2004-2007 and represented the Pukekohe club, Chiefs A and the All Blacks Sevens team before making the move to Japan for a decade.

After finishing his playing career he made the move into coaching and has spent time with the Blues U18 side as well as coaching Grammar TEC in the Auckland club competition before another stint in Japan coaching.

He returned to New Zealand a couple of weeks ago and joins a coaching staff that includes long-time club mentor Graham and former Northland coach Richie Harris.

“Obviously really good to be back where it all began so to speak - back in the hoops,” Maher said. “I'm really looking forward to the challenge and look forward to the season.

“At this stage I'll take the defence portfolio and that'll be my main realm. But the good thing about Reon is he wants input from all coaches in all areas and that's something that I like to work towards. So, you don't work in silos; work more collaboratively and work with each other. So I'm looking forward to that as well.”

Maher has made the move home for the job and is delighted to be back to where his footy career started.

“I'm extremely proud of some of the union stuff, playing 40 games and was really

proud of what we did, but obviously going on to coach where you played

before, it's quite rare, so it's something near and dear to my heart so I want to make sure I do a

really good job and hopefully we're successful.”

His time working and living in Japan has given Maher some unique skills that he thinks could translate well to coaching back home.

“I coached the last four years in Japan with a company called Tokyo Gas. It was a bit of all sorts because I was the only full-time pro coach there. So it was a really good challenge for me. I coached both the attack and defence up there. Did a little bit of GPS work as well, so trying to just continue to learn.”

Maher thinks coaching in a place where he had to learn a new language has really helped him become clear and concise in his communication.

He’ll spend the next few weeks at club football getting familiar with the players again.