He’s the best coach I’ve had in my career: Aidan Sezer lauds Leeds boss Rohan Smith

Josh McAllister
Aidan Sezer

He’s been coached by the likes of Ricky Stuart, Neil Henry and Ian Watson, but Rohan Smith sits at the top of the list for Leeds half-back Aidan Sezer. 

Sezer, 31, enters his second season with the Rhinos, having first joined the club under Richard Agar.

The Australian-born half-back started his career at Gold Coast Titans under John Cartwright, and went on to make more than 150 appearances in the NRL including four years in the capital with Canberra Raiders.

Smith, 41, was appointed as Leeds’ head coach midway through the 2022 Super League campaign on a three-and-a-half year contract.

Upon his arrival at Headingley Stadium, the club enjoyed a rise from 11th to fifth in the table, and went on to make it all the way to the Grand Final, falling short against St Helens.

The club won 13 out of their 19 matches under Smith, having previously only picked up three wins in the first 11 rounds.

And his appointment was one that excited Leeds’ Sezer, who worked under the coach previously in Australia.

Aidan Sezer: He’s the best coach I’ve had in my career

“He was one of the assistants at Gold Coast in my last year in 2015,” Sezer explained to Love Rugby League.

“We’ve always kept in contact and had a long-standing relationship. We sent messages here and there and he’s someone I’ve always looked up to and respected what he said.

“He’s a very intelligent person and anything he sort of says has a lot of substance behind it.

“I love playing under him. When he came last year, I was pretty stoked he was coming across and I knew the club was getting a good coach as well.

“Where we were when he came here to where we ended up is probably a testament to how good of a coach he is.

“I know his influence is only positive for me. And hopefully we can all play his type of footy and his style. I think with the pre-season we’ve had, we’re pretty clear in his philosophies.

“Rohan understands me. He’s watched me progress since I was a young kid at home. We’ve always got along and I’ve always respected what he says.

“On a personal level, we have that mutual respect. He understands the game more than most. I enjoy playing under him and in my opinion he’s the best coach I’ve had in my career.”

Contract situation

Sezer remains off-contract beyond the 2023 campaign. But the experienced half-back insists he isn’t worried about securing his future just yet.

He made the move to Leeds ahead of 2022 from Huddersfield, where he originally made the switch to Super League in 2020.

“Those things work themselves out in time,” Sezer said on his current contract.

“I turn 32 this year. I’m not a spring chicken, I understand how the process works.

“There’s no rush on my end” – Aidan Sezer

“You always look after the next game and the next day and your future looks after itself. I still feel I have a few good years ahead of me.

“The body is feeling good, so we’ll see how we go. 

“I’ve been off-contract numerous times in my career and all you can do is worry about what you can control and that’s the next game, the next training session and your actions.

“Everything will come in due course. There’s no rush on my end, but we’ll see what happens.”

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