Jason Hetherington has been appointed the new coach of the Capras.
Jason Hetherington has been appointed the new coach of the Capras. Tom Huntley

New Capras coaching position means move for Hetherington

JASON Hetherington is trading high-vis and hard hats for a Capras jersey.

The NRL legend has been named Central Queensland Capras coach and will move from Gladstone to Rockhampton.

"The commuter thing, I don't think I'd be able to do that," Hetherington said.

"It was a hard decision."

But his passion for rugby league won out.

"I am looking forward to going up there and getting back into footy.

"I'm looking forward to the future of what the Capras hold and the direction they are heading."

Despite state and Australian NRL duties, Hetherington said his toughest role yet would be his new role.

"Obviously, I've still been doing the Origin thing for four years but this is week in week out, which is a fair bit more pressure. It's a learning curve for me as well. But I've picked up a few things over the years."

Given his junior rugby league involvement in Gladstone, in particular the Jason Hetherington Cup Under-12 Rugby League Carnival, Hetherington said he would get back to Gladstone as often as he could to watch a few footy matches.

 

Highlights

  • Australian Internationals - (4 games)
  • Queensland State of Origin - 8 games
  • Man of the Match in opening game of 1999 State of Origin Series
  • Canterbury Bulldogs - 118 A-grade games
  • Won an NRL Premiership in 1995 with Canterbury Bulldogs
  • Gold Coast Chargers - 15 A-grade games

 

Question and Answer:

How long have you known the Capras were considering you as a coach?

Not that long.

They made a semi-formal approach.

I had to tie up work commitments and different things here.

It was a big decision to move up there.

It was a hard decision.

I am looking forward to going up there and getting back in to footy.

I'm looking forward to the future of what the Capras hold and the direction they are heading.

 

So you will be leaving Gladstone?

The commuter thing, I don't think I'd be able to do that every night.

 

How long have you lived in Gladstone?

I retired in 2002 so since 2004.

 

And the kids are already Capras players, aren't they?

Yeah, they are in the junior squad.

I let them do what they enjoy doing and rugby league is one of them.

The opportunities are good in Gladstone.

Junior rugby league is strong here.

I've been a part of it now for a while.

There is certainly some good players coming out of Gladstone.

We've got to keep the development going and keep producing good kids.

That will be a part of what I do as well.

 

How do you think the CQ NRL Bid is going?

The energy is still there from everyone involved.

They are all very passionate.

 

And you have supported the CQ NRL Bid from the start haven't you?

Yes.

I've been a bid member since it started and I still am.

I think it will be great for our region, for our kids.

From what I witnessed, the downfall of home sickness, kids had left home for the big smoke.

I saw dozens of them go through Canterbury.

Local kids wouldn't have to do that.

 

Are there any big plans for the Capras in terms of the bid?

We'll sit down with the powers at be, and my support staff, and come up with a plan.

We've got to go in to this venture with a plan, we can't just go in blind folded.

The kids coming through will be in the plans.

I want to give the Central Queensland region a good footy side, which they are, and a successful one.

 

Are you looking forward to getting back in to footy?

Obviously I've still been doing the Origin thing for four years but this is a week in week out is a fair bit more pressure.

It's a learning curve for me as well.

But I've picked up a few things over the years.

I've had some really good mentors and some good mentors are only a phone call away.

 

Will you be back to Gladstone for things like the Jason Hetherington Cup?

I'll be trying to get back to Gladstone as much as I can to watch footy.

We certainly would like to utilise these players as much as we can.

I've got a bit of a grip on what's going on here.