NEW DEAL: Pickers coach Ron Griffiths has extended his contract.The Maitland Pickers have announced they have re-signed first grade coach Ron Griffiths for a further two seasons.

Griffiths, who came to the club this season from the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs where he was reserve grade coach, has guided his team to fourth place on the Newcastle Rugby League competition table after round 15.

The two-time reigning premiers will head into the back end of the campaign with their future sorted coaching wise, with the former East Maitland junior penning a two-year deal with a two-year option.

Griffiths was delighted the Pickers had shown confidence in his ability.

“The club has shown a bit of faith in me I suppose, we’re not high flying by any stretch, but in saying that all five sides we’ve got at the club are in semi-final contention, which is very pleasing,” Griffiths said.

“The job wasn’t just given to me, I went to them with a four-year strategic plan for development and things like that.

“For them to take most of that on board is great.”

The 34-year-old is young for the coaching game and while he admits he is still developing, Griffiths is committed to taking his career further in the future.

“I aspire to coach in the NRL, it’s a goal of mine I’m working towards,” Griffiths said.

“I approached [South Sydney Rabbitohs defensive coach] Wayne Collins at a coaching seminar down in Sydney this year and outlined what I wanted to do.

“I asked him if he would be my coaching mentor and he’s the guy I bounce a lot of things off.”

For Griffiths, developing players away from the game is essential and one of things about coaching he enjoys the most.

“To be able to get the best out of players, developing them both on the field but away from the field as well is a big part of what I do” Griffiths said.

Maitland Pickers president John Thomas, who also announced he would step aside as club president at the club’s AGM in October, said he was proud to have Griffiths on board as the Pickers continue to build for the future.

“We have been extremely impressed with Ron’s commitment and infectious attitude towards realising the club’s core values and long-term objectives,” Thomas said.

“We look forward to providing players of the future a club to be proud of.”

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