Wayne Bennett may have just scored the coaching coup of the decade.
Reigning NSW Cup and State Championship-winning mentor Jason Demetriou will serve as a coaching assistant at Brisbane under Wayne Bennett for the 2017 NRL season.
Considered one of the best up-and-coming coaches in the NRL, Demetriou led the Illawarra Cutters (the Dragons reserve grade side) to success this year in claiming both lower-grade trophies.
You may not know the name but you will be impressed by his track record, having won three grand finals in the last four years.
Demetriou was part of North Queensland's premiership-winning coaching staff in 2015 in their grand-final victory over the Broncos,
Last season he led the Illawarra Cutters - who are the Dragons reserve grade side - to the Intrust Super State Championship, defeating the Burleigh Bears in the Grand Final.
He also won back-to-back minor premierships as head coach of the Northern Pride in the QLD Cup, including a Grand Final win in 2014.
So it's an astute signing by Wayne Bennett. And a sore one for St George Illawarra. Read the full statement below.
Broncos Official Statement
Jason Demetriou Photo: www.broncos.com.au
State Championship winner Jason Demetriou will join Wayne Bennett’s NRL staff as an assistant coach for the 2017 pre-season.
Demetriou has experienced a wonderful last few years, capped off by winning the Intrust Super State Championship with the Illawarra Cutters over the Burleigh Bears on NRL Grand Final Day.
He will move from the St George Illawarra Dragons club to the Broncos having previously being based in Queensland.
After a long playing career in England including stints with Wakefield and Widnes, the Sydney-born Demetriou coached the Keighley Cougars.
Back in Australia, he coached the Northern Pride to the 2014 Intrust Super Cup title by winning the Queensland Cup grand final over Easts Tigers.
In 2015 he was on the North Queensland coaching staff, ultimately part of the Cowboys’ golden-point grand final win over the Broncos.
The Cutters celebrate winning the 2016 State Championship Grand Final Photo: Getty Images
But after impressing again by winning the NSW Cup and the State Championship match over Burleigh – a clash of the NSW and Queensland champions - Demetriou will move to Brisbane to work under Bennett.
"I am very excited for the opportunity the Broncos and Wayne have given me and I look forward to the years ahead,” he said.
“It's a very strong club, with great leaders and a great roster and I look forward to playing my role in that.
“I look forward to my family settling in and making Brisbane our home.
“I'd like to thank my wife Nat and my girls for supporting me and allowing me to follow this path - without their support I wouldn't be here."