John Strange, the coach for Sydney Roosters NRLW, is planning to place an unexpected request to coach his team remotely on Sunday. The reason behind his unusual proposition is his desire to witness his son’s first NRL game in Melbourne from the stadium. Strange will take his plan to the Roosters‘ notable decision makers on Thursday night. His proposal would allow him to manage his team’s performance against Cronulla at PointsBet Stadium through a Zoom session. This decision finds Strange torn between the two parts of his life.
The Roosters will face the Sharks at 12.03 pm, just under two hours from the time Ethan Strange is scheduled to play his first NRL game on behalf of Canberra Raiders against the Storm in Melbourne. To further complicate the day, Ethan’s sister and Knights winger, Jasmin Strange, has a game against the Gold Coast at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium at 1.50 pm.
This fantastic day will see John, Ethan, and Jasmin Strange becoming the first father, son, and daughter trio to coach and play across both NRL and NRLW simultaneously. Ethan Strange, aged 18, was quickly integrated into Ricky Stuart’s team as Sebastian Kris’ replacement for the AAMI Park game.
John’s mother, Adele, will be present during his game. Meanwhile, John is hoping to coach the Roosters distantly, having Kylie Hilder, the admirable NSW Origin women’s coach and Roosters NRLW assistant, present at Cronulla’s game. This game may potentially shuffle the top four positions if the Tricolours lose.
Roosters captain Isabelle Kelly supports Strange’s plan. Nonetheless, he will need to convince the club’s leaders and his team about his remote coaching proposal during a Thursday night meeting. The planned arrangement would have Strange directing Hilder via Zoom from Melbourne. This system would allow him to support his son on his big day while also coaching his team.
Strange asserted that he feels equal dedication towards both his roles. For him, his son’s debut is significant, but his responsibility towards his team, whom he considers family, is of equal importance. Strange is aware of the difficulty of his decision but remains committed to both his roles.
Jasmin, 20, has played four NRLW games, with three for the Knights. Ethan played 12 games for the Raiders’ NSW Cup team, alternating between centre and five-eighth. He was lauded as the best player during the under-19s State of Origin in July, where he scored three tries. John Strange has always believed in his son’s potential for success, and his dedication was evident even during his childhood.
Ethan’s performance in the NSW Cup has seen a significant improvement since the Origin match, finally earning him an NRL call-up. Ethan relocated from the family home on the Central Coast last year after being signed by the Raiders, and his mother Adele, who is the academy manager for the Central Coast Roosters, travels to Canberra frequently to ensure he’s taken care of.
As for Jasmin, who could see her team, the Knights, climb to the top of the table, might have to settle with just her parents watching her game on Kayo. John Strange assured that Jasmin understood the family’s preoccupation with Ethan’s debut this weekend.