TOUGH ASSIGNMENT: Former Norths Tigers A Grade coach Mick Newton will lead the Ipswich Diggers in this year's Chairman's Challenge against Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
TOUGH ASSIGNMENT: Former Norths Tigers A Grade coach Mick Newton will lead the Ipswich Diggers in this year's Chairman's Challenge against Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Rob Williams

Grand final rivals combine forces for Ipswich

THEY were grand final rivals and now Mick Newton and Dean Daylight will combine forces for Ipswich.

Norths and Brothers A Grade coaches in the local competition, Newton and Daylight will have vital new roles.

Newton has been chosen as the Ipswich Diggers head coach for 2017, with Daylight his assistant.

Newton returns to senior rugby league after a two- year stint mentoring the Norths' under 17 outfit.

Looking forward to the extra challenge, the former premiership-winning coach was glad to have the services of his old opponent behind him in the new role.

"I'm really looking forward to it,” Newton said.

"I gave away the senior stuff for the last few years but I've got Dean Daylight at my side as assistant coach.

"He was my opponent in the Ipswich grand final a few years back and I've got a lot of respect for Dean. I was lucky enough to get a couple of grand finals at Norths and hopefully I can take that into the Diggers.”

Norths V West End a grade rugby league. Norths coach Mick Newton.
Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
TOUGH ASSIGNMENT: Former Norths Tigers A Grade coach Mick Newton will lead the Ipswich Diggers in this year's Chairman's Challenge against Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Rob Williams

Joined by team manager Ross Wegener and sports trainer Dale Williams, from West End, the Ipswich A Grade coaching staff have high hopes for this year's carnival held from May 5-7.

Ipswich will take on representative teams from the Gold Coast and hosts Brisbane.

Last year under coach Lee Addison, the Diggers recorded their first Chair- man's Challenge title with a clean sweep over their South East Queensland rivals.

Again combining players from the Rugby League Ipswich competition and Ipswich Jets BRL outfit, Newton has the tough challenge of bringing the Ipswich team together in a short window.

"You really haven't got too much opportunity to fall over,” Newton admitted.

"I've got a good appreciation of what Ipswich can do. We'll do our best to make sure we have some combinations together and take advantage of combinations these guys bring with them.”

With just over five weeks until the competition begins, Newton said he already had his eyes on players.

"I got over to the season launch the other week which was a good opportunity to have a look at those three games,” he said. "I still need to see Goodna but I've got a good understanding of the other teams so far.

"I caught the (Ipswich Jets) BRL game on Saturday and they had a handy win there. Everyone has been very competitive and I'm sure we'll have a good mixture of guys from all over.”

Brothers Ipswich development officer Jason Connors will return in his role as the Diggers Under 19s head coach.

Russell Myers will be the Under 19s assistant coach, with manager Darren Boettcher and sports trainer Dane McQueen joining the junior coaching staff.

Brothers coach Dean Daylight. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times
Assistant Dean Daylight. Inga Williams

Ipswich Diggers Chairman's Challenge (May 5-7) coaching staff appointments:

A Grade

Head coach: Mick Newton

Assistant coach: Dean Daylight

Manager: Ross Wegener

Sports trainer: Dale Williams

Under 19s

Head coach: Jason Connors

Assistant coach: Russell Myers

Manager: Darren Boettcher

Sports trainer: Dane McQueen