Sean O'Loughlin's coaching role with Wigan Warriors revealed

Sean O’Loughlin realises he has to ‘serve his apprenticeship’ as he prepares for the start of his coaching career.
Sean O'Loughlin called time on his playing career this yearSean O'Loughlin called time on his playing career this year
Sean O'Loughlin called time on his playing career this year

The former captain, 38, called time on his decorated playing career after November’s Grand Final loss.

He will take a role on the Warriors’ coaching staff next month.

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And executive director Kris Radlinski revealed that among O’Loughlin’s responsibilities, he is likely to oversee the transitional players – those who are too old for the academy but not playing regularly in the first-team.

Darrell Goulding had that position last season but is moving to take over as head of youth from Mick Cassidy, who departed last summer.

O’Loughlin has already had coaching experience, having assisted the academy in recent years, but says he has a lot to learn.

“As much as I’ve experienced it dipping into academy, I realise full-time will be different so it will be learning the ropes – almost earning my stripes, doing my apprenticeship,” he said.

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“For the past five years or so I’ve been involved with the academy and tried to get an insight into it, and now I’m looking forward to getting involved with the group of staff here. I just want to help develop players and help the coaching staff where they see me fitting in.”

Overseeing the ‘transitional’ players will be particularly challenging as several in the squad will be too old for the Under-19s academy and the reserve competition has been shelved for a year.

The option of using dual-registration – short-term loans with lower-league clubs – has also been removed as a Covid-19 precaution. The shortest period a player can depart for is a minimum of a month loan.

Although Goulding has moved positions and Ian Bentley has replaced Paul Johnson (now at Leigh) as head of strength and conditioning, the coaching team is largely unchanged.

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Both Bentley and O’Loughlin were already at the club in other roles, while new academy strength and conditioning coach Mick Turner has previously been at Wigan.

The club retained 2020 Coach of the Year Adrian Lam for another season and he will again be assisted by John Winder, who was out of contract but has agreed a new deal, and Matty Peet.

Radlinski said: “Lockers is likely to coach the youth and transition players while Darrell gets to grips with his new role as head of youth.”

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