CLUB PRIDE: Luke Murphy, Craig and Kiera Karakyriacos with club president Prue Hair. The man they call 'Kirke' and his wife Kiera have been huge for the club for six years.
CLUB PRIDE: Luke Murphy, Craig and Kiera Karakyriacos with club president Prue Hair. The man they call 'Kirke' and his wife Kiera have been huge for the club for six years. Contributed GLA270119KIRKE

Coach leaves his beloved Tannum Seagulls in a great place

RUGBY LEAGUE: After six years of superb service, Craig Karakyriacos has left the Tannum Sands Seagulls Rugby League Club in a better place.

The man his peers call 'Kirke' and his wife Keira will base themselves in Townsville for employment opportunities, but Karakyriacos will have memories for life of his time at the 'Gulls.

"It's been a quick decision and sort of left them in a lurch in a way, but knowing the Seagulls, they'll go on and keep going forward," he said.

Karakyriacos coached Tannum in 2017-18 and the team finished ninth in the extended Rockhampton Senior Local Rugby League competition.

He was involved with the juniors in his first four years before he took on the senior coaching role.

Karakyriacos said he took great satisfaction in developing youngsters who have transitioned into senior ranks.

"Your Matt Wilsons, Hayden Walkers and Ryan Fett, those sort of boys, bringing them up into the seniors and getting the junior to senior communication a lot better," he said.

He has also done his best to bring in a family environment to the club.

Karakyriacos said his wife has been a huge contributor to the club.

"She's been practically 'Mrs Fixit' and she has done all the secretary, did all the canteen and any of the registering of the players, cleaning the sheds and helping out Barry Nugent," he said.

"It's definitely going to be there a lot longer than me and it's a shame that we have left," he said.

"There's been a lot of good with the club and it's been just going in leaps and bounds and I've loved every minute of it.

"My wife and I are going to miss the place probably more than what the club will miss us."

Karakyriacos said he will put the feelers out for a coaching position in Townsville once he finds a job there.

"I'd like to get back into doing the A-grade coaching plus also the the representative stuff," he said.

"In five of the last six years I've been here, I've been part of the Raiders' system and then on to the Capras and Crows.

"That will be my goal to get into the northern districts if I can and keep doing the rep footy side."

Seagulls will now compete in the newly-revamped Gladstone-only competition which include Gladstone Brothers, Gladstone Valleys, Gladstone Wallabys and Calliope Roosters.

There will be an A-division, a B-division, a women's side and Karakyriacos said numbers have been healthy at pre-season training in all clubs.

"Hopefully for Gladstone rugby league and for Tannum themselves it all goes well for them," he said.