Player welfare role for McDermott

Barrie McDermott is to swap his position as Head of Youth Development at Leeds for a role focusing on player welfare at the club.

McDermott, 41, played 283 times for the club, and is the only player to have won the Challenge Cup, World Club Challenge and Super League Grand Final with the club.

He has been head of Youth Development since 2009, but now turns his attention to a new role, across the whole playing structure, including the first time.

The former Great Britain international said: “I have had five fantastic years as Head of Youth Development and worked with some fantastic coaches and players during that time. We had a big job on our hands initially to get things back to where we wanted them to be but through a lot of hard work and dedication from our development staff we have been able to do that.

“Having spoken with the club, I am keen to look at a new opportunity within the Rhinos, that of player welfare. 

“In recent years this has become a major focus within the game and rightfully so. As clubs, we have a duty of care for our players and as a game we must do as much as we can to help them in life not just the eighty minutes when they are on the field at the weekend. 

“This is something I feel passionate about and an area that I have learnt a lot about during my time as Head of Youth Development.

“When you are working with young lads to get them through college or helping them gain work experience so they can build a career post rugby it enforces the sacrifices our players make to try and be the lucky ones who become full time Super League players. 

“Hopefully, I can transfer those skills to my new role and work with the first team players as well to develop their skills by accessing the various options that are available to them, especially those who are coming towards the end of their playing careers.”

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