USA prop Offerdahl appointed Chester coach

USA international Mark Offerdahl has been appointed as the new head coach of rugby league club Chester Gladiators.

Offerdahl, who plays for Wrexham-based Championship outfit North Wales Crusaders, played a key role in the Tomahawks run to the 2013 Rugby League World Cup quarter finals.

He started every game as the USA defeated Cook Islands and Wales before bowing out to eventual winners Australia with the 26-year-old earning widespread praise for his blockbusting performances.

Offerdahl, who came through the ranks with NRL giants Manly Sea Eagles, agreed to join Crusaders at the end of the tournament having previously played in the USA and in France with AS Carcasonne.

He has now agreed to become head coach of the Gladiators, who complete in the North West Men’s League.

Offerdahl, who is a qualified personal trainer, plans to settle in the Chester area and will be launching his own business in the coming weeks.

He said: “I’m delighted to take on the role and I’m really looking forward to helping the club develop. 

“I’m extremely passionate about rugby league and will be looking to use my experience to help the squad push on and improve.

“The club has got great facilities and it sounds like there is huge potential for the game of rugby league in the area.”

Gladiators development officer Paul Foster said the club was thrilled to have Offerdahl on board.

He said: “We have been looking for a new head coach for some time and as soon as we heard Mark was interested it was a no-brainer.

“He’s someone who lives and breathes rugby league, he’s very knowledgeable about the game as you would expect and we think it’s a huge step forward for us.

“We have been putting the pieces of the jigsaw together over the past 12 months and this is another part of that.

“We’ve got great support from our main sponsor Bartletts Solicitors, excellent facilities at The Cheshire County Sports Club, a hardworking team of volunteers and now a head coach who has taken on the best players in the world.

“We are really exciting about continuing our development and there is a lot of positivity around the club.”

Gladiators will be running two teams in 2014 and are welcoming new players for the current season.

For more details email info@chestergladiators.com or call 07512 355396.

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