http://www.theherald.com.au/story/5259848/geoff-coburn-to-head-knights-new-football-committee/ FORMER Parramatta, Newtown and Western Suburbs (Newcastle) forward Geoff Coburn will be the acting chairman for the Knights at official NRL functions after being appointed head of the club’s new football committee. Coburn will be joined on the committee – formed to oversee the Knights’ football operations and advise new owners the Wests Group – by Wests chairman Owen Kilpatrick, long-serving sports administrator John Quayle, and club legend Danny Buderus. Coburn, 59, has spent a lifetime in rugby league. After launching his career with Wests Rosellas, winning a Newcastle Rugby League grand final in 1980, he joined Parramatta and appeared in 20 first-grade games in 1981 and 1982, alongside champions such as Peter Sterling, Brett Kenny, Ray Price, Mick Cronin, Steve Ella and Eric Grothe. He played 12 games for Newtown in 1983, before returning to Newcastle and re-joining Wests. He featured in a handful of reserve-grade games for the Knights in 1988 and is a member of the club’s Old Boys. The head physical-education teacher at Lambton High School, Coburn has served on the Wests Group board of directors for 24 years. “The committee will provide support for the Knights as well as football in the community,” Coburn said in a statement. “Of course, we want to ensure the Knights team has everything it needs to be successful on the field, including the best equipment and facilities. “More than that, though, the committee is here to help get more kids interested in rugby league, to foster participation and work on enhancing the elite pathways.” It is understood Kilpatrick, who has served on the Wests boardroom for a remarkable 45 years, the past 12 as chairman, had no burning desire to represent the Knights at the various meetings and functions club chairmen are required to attend. Kilpatrick played eight seasons for Wests, and in his time on the board, the club has won 15 first-grade premierships. “Having the committee will help us keep the club focused on the right direction, winning football games and having the right people, with the right character and the right ability involved,” he said. In his capacity as chief executive of the NSW Rugby League, Quayle was primarily responsible for inviting Newcastle to enter the top-tier competition in 1988. More recently he spent three years on the Knights’ board, after the demise in 2014 of controversial former owner Nathan Tinkler. “Over recent years the football club hasn't really known where it was going, and the new ownership gives the club financial security and direction,” Quayle said. “The football committee is a very important step in rebuilding the club, and it will help provide direction, from development teams to first grade. “Geoff and Owen have very good football knowledge and provide that link back to the Wests board, while Danny's profile, contacts and knowledge of both the club and the game will be invaluable.” Buderus will juggle his roles as a commentator and NSW Origin assistant coach with the committee’s bi-monthly meetings. “The No.1 purpose from my perspective is to support [football manager] Darren Mooney and [head coach] Nathan Brown in all things football,” he said. “The people on the committee all bring different skills, and I believe we can make and support the right football decisions for the success of the club. “I've always understood that the team and the town really do need each other, and if we can harness that and all work together, we can hopefully see some very good results.” _____________________________________________________________________ From my perspective, a smart move by the Wests Group Board who have acknowledged limited to no knowledge and expertise in the football club side of the operations. I expect that their role will not be to interfere in the operational matters directly but to give the Board an objective mechanism to provide advice and assessment on the broader team and coaching staff performance to assess if KPIs are being reached and if mitigating factors, from a football perspective, have effected this. This will be important based on how the club are now focussing on KPIs in the contractual relationships with players and staff. It may also be a touch-point for the board to provide strategic assessment of recruitment and retention policies for the team as these issues crop up. What do others think about the appointees or the Committee idea in general?