Upheavel in Seagulls ranks
"IT'S business as usual” - that's the message from new Tweed Heads Seagulls Football Club Chief Executive Officer Paul Stephenson who has taken the reigns following the resignation of Matt Jobson.
After two months in the position, Jobson has decided to pursue another career direction.
Stephenson has an extensive business and rugby league history. He was a business development executive with Coca Cola Amatil for four years, worked as a business development manager with Konnect Building before overseeing the Seagulls' sponsorship and player wellbeing affairs.
Stephenson, 34, has held the position of sponsorship and wellbeing manager since last year but is looking forward to the challenges of steering the Intrust Super Cup club through what is rebuilding period.
"I'd like to thank Matt for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best for the future,” Stephenson said.
"The board have appointed me as CEO in the interim but I would definitely be keen to be here for the long term. The players and sponsors have been informed about Matt's decision and we respect that.
"I want to assure everyone that we will be still working on the same strategic plans which Matt helped to put in place - improving our facilities at the Piggabeen Sports Complex, engaging with the great Tweed community and also providing pathways for rugby league players to progress to the Intrust Super Cup and beyond, to the NRL through the Titans.”
Stephenson will continue to carry out his current duties regarding sponsorship and player wellbeing as well as CEO but would be discussing staffing with the board in the near future.
"It's vitally important that we, Tweed Seagulls, look to build some continuity on and off the filed,” he said.
"We are a young side and both players and coaching staff know it will be tough in what is a very tough competition.
"However everyone is committed to building on the proud foundation established by what is the oldest provincial rugby league club in Australia.
"we have had a hard start to the year but you can see improvement in the boys and we are looking forward to our next home game against East on April 22 to show Tweed rugby league fans just what we can do.”
Stephenson is no stranger to the challenges of rugby league - he was a Newcastle junior and played in the National Rugby League for Manly Sea Eagles (2004-06) and Cronulla Sharks (2007-08), appearing in 55 first grade games. He finished his playing career with two seasons at the Ipswich Jets.
Seagulls chairman Ian Paton is confident that Stephenson will excel in the role.
"Paul is a smart operator with extensive business and operational experience. He's also a passionate clubman who is well liked and respected by everyone at Seagulls,” Paton said.