Tye Ingebrigtsen will bring a focus on culture when he takes over the reins at South Grafton Rebels later this year.
Tye Ingebrigtsen will bring a focus on culture when he takes over the reins at South Grafton Rebels later this year. Valerie Horton

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RUGBY LEAGUE: A chance to move closer to home, and closer to his family, has spurred former Northern Pride Mal Meninga Cup coach Tye Ingebrigtsen to take up the reins at the South Grafton Rebels.

Ingebrigtsen, who also led the Hervey Bay Seagulls to their first premiership in over 15 years in 2016, lodged his interest in the head coach role after spotting an advertisement online.

While he has acted in a coaching capacity only in the past two seasons, the 28-year-old said he hoped to dust off the playing boots as well next season, taking up a spot in the South Grafton second-row.

"I absolutely love coaching, but I also think I have got another year or two left in my playing career as well," Ingebrigtsen told The Daily Examiner. "To see where the (Rebels) club has been before and where it was at this year, I definitely think I can help improve them.

"The plan is always to improve. Hopefully we can get a good roster on the park, and then it is about building a good culture among the playing group and the rest of the club."

 

NO STOPPING: Tye Ingebrigtsen powers down the field for Hervey Bay Seagulls in a Bundaberg Rugby League game at Salters Oval in 2016.
NO STOPPING: Tye Ingebrigtsen powers down the field for Hervey Bay Seagulls in a Bundaberg Rugby League game at Salters Oval in 2016. Paul Donaldson BUN050715RUG5

While the word culture is important to any football organisation, to Ingebrigtsen it takes on a whole new meaning. It is also the major reason success has followed the former Sunshine Coast Falcons player wherever he goes.

"Culture is very important, and team culture is only a by-product of club culture, so it stems from the top down," he said.

"It is about setting up that right environment so players want to be there, and they want to put in for the club. I also believe in upskilling players. If you take the time to make them a better footballer, they will repay that."

 

Seagulls coach Tye Ingebrigtsen and captain Clinton Horne with the shield. Bundaberg Rugby League grand final: Hervey Bay Seagulls v The Waves Tigers at Salter Oval, Bundaberg.
Seagulls coach Tye Ingebrigtsen and captain Clinton Horne with the shield. Bundaberg Rugby League grand final: Hervey Bay Seagulls v The Waves Tigers at Salter Oval, Bundaberg. Matthew McInerney

Coaching is something that runs in Ingebrigtsen's blood with father, Craig, leading the Sunshine Coast Falcons Intrust Super Premiership campaign for the past three seasons, taking the side from 12th to third in his first year at the helm.

Ingebrigtsen junior also has a history of forging similar turnarounds at club level, helping the Mareeba Gladiators surge from 11th to third in one year in the Cairns Rugby League top tier.

He also studied under 2018 Intrust Super Premiership coach of the year Ty Williams at the Northern Pride this season, which he believes will help as he steps out on his own again.

Ingebrigtsen is also hoping to bring a few players with him across the border, as he aims to bolster a roster already teeming with local talent.

 

Tye Ingebrigtsen has signed on to coach the South Grafton Rebels in 2019. He coached the Hervey Bay Seagulls to a premiership in 2016.
Tye Ingebrigtsen has signed on to coach the South Grafton Rebels in 2019. He coached the Hervey Bay Seagulls to a premiership in 2016. Alistair Brightman

He also has a strong connection to Lower Clarence Magpies duo Dan Randall and Hugh Stanley which could work in the favour of the Rebels.

It is understood the new head coach will not arrive in the Clarence Valley until early November, but has already planned a meet and greet for players and fans at The Fortress, McKittrick Park, on November 17.

Former South Grafton head coach Ron Gordon has been confirmed as the Rebels Under-18s coach for 2019 and will work closely with his successor.



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