Aidan Sezer joins national team coaching staff

James Gordon
Sezer to Leeds

Leeds bound half-back Aidan Sezer has joined the coaching staff of the Turkey national team.

Sezer, 30, will depart Huddersfield after two seasons to move to Headingley at the end of the year, and has signed up to help Turkey prepare for their European Championship D games against Netherlands, Malta and Czechia.

Former Turkish international Jansin Turgut, who played Super League for Salford and Hull, will also join the coaching team.

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Gurol Yildiz, president of the Turkish Rugby League Association, said: “Aidan brings on board his experience and professionalism, being very proud of his roots and will be a massive help for us.

“This is an amazing achievement for the TRLA management.”

Sezer was born in New South Wales to a Turkish father, Yucel, and an Indigenous Australian mother.

He played more than 150 games in the NRL for Gold Coast Titans and Canberra Raiders, and trained with the Turkish national team back in 2018 ahead of the Emerging Nations World Championship.

As well as representing the Indigenous All Stars and the NSW City side, Sezer turned out for the Combined Nations All Stars side against England in June, although it was in that game he sustained a season-ending injury.

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The news of his involvement with the national team comes as the season gets underway in Turkey with an international beach tournament at Kalmis Kadikoy.

Following that, eight open age men teams, four youth and four women’s sides will contest the domestic championship which begins with the Turkish Cup, leading into the hosting of Euro D in October in Bodrum.

Yildiz added: “It is with great excitement we are starting our 2021 season fixtures. It’s been 18 months of no on-field activities but we continued to be proactive with online rugby league and match official education courses, which was a huge success.

“In addition, we have submitted our full membership application to European Rugby League for onward recommendation to the International Rugby League board, and are looking forward to continuing to grow the sport here and around our region.”