After having the incomparable Sir Peter Leitch as a sole ambassador for much of their history, the One New Zealand Warriors have now created a stable of ambassadors built around celebrated former players.
The drive started in March last year when club legends and ex-teammates Monty Betham, Kevin Campion and Awen Guttenbeil came on board to join the club’s 19th man Sir Peter.
And earlier this month another legend from the halcyon days early this century – Wairangi Koopu – was added to the team as the club’s cultural ambassador.
That’s on top of the decorated Ruben Wiki being ambassador for the Warriors Community Foundation.
“Now we’re back home at last, it’s all part of our plan to strengthen our culture in all ways by involving past players who have a great passion for and understanding of their club,” said One New Zealand Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“They have so much to offer through their involvement in one of the club’s greatest eras as well as through their standing in the community.
“Sir Peter is the ultimate ambassador in the way he supports and promotes the Warriors every chance he has. We’ll always be indebted to him and we love him for what he does for us.
“With Monty, Kevin, Awen and Wairangi taking up roles as ambassadors we’re able to promote and represent the club in even more ways at community, game day and corporate level. We’re excited and honoured to have them with us.”
Betham has also taken up a part-time position at One New Zealand Warriors headquarters which encompasses a number of commercial, football and event responsibilities.
Betham, Campion, Guttenbeil, Koopu and Wiki aren’t the only former Warriors involved in key positions with the club.
The great Stacey Jones and Justin Morgan are again NRL assistant coaches while Jerry Seuseu is the club’s wellbeing and education manager with two more ex-players Leeson Ah Mau and Anthony Gelling working with him as wellbeing and education coordinators. On top of that, Adam Blair is head coach of the club’s S G Ball Cup (under-19) team meaning the 11 old boys have a combined tally of 1100 NRL appearances for the Warriors between them (Jones, Guttenbeil, Koopu, Seuseu and Betham all on the club’s 100-game list).
NRL head coach Andrew Webster, general manager recruitment, development and pathways Andrew McFadden and Sky Sport Future Warriors coach Tony Iro also have well-established links with the One New Zealand Warriors.
OLD BOYS WITH CLUB ROLES
|Position||Player||Club #||Club Games||Career games|
|Wellbeing and education coordinator||Leeson Ah Mau||147||46||223|
|Club ambassador||Monty Betham||61||101||101|
|S G Ball Cup coach||Adam Blair||223||65||331|
|Club ambassador||Kevin Campion||86||44||241|
|Wellbeing and education coordinator||Anthony Gelling||227||7||7|
|Club ambassador||Awen Guttenbeil||33||170||170|
|NRL assistant coach||Stacey Jones||24||261||261|
|Cultural ambassador||Wairangi Koopu||64||159||171|
|NRL assistant coach||Justin Morgan||88||28||133|
|Wellbeing and education manager||Jerry Seuseu||50||132||132|
|Community foundation ambassador||Ruben Wiki||123||87||311|