Leikvoll appointed as Dapto's head coach
Chris Leikvoll can add his name to the list of former Dragons players at the helm of Illawarra Coal League sides next year after his appointment as Dapto Canaries coach for the 2014 season.
Leikvoll will join former St George Illawarra teammates Jason Ryles (Wests) and Reece Simmonds (Collegians) and recent NRL retiree Nathan Fien (Thirroul) in the coaching ranks.
Leikvoll, who coached Dapto's reserve grade side this year, said a desire to challenge himself in the first-grade arena prompted him to apply for the Canaries job.
"I was just after a first grade role," he said.
"If something came up I was willing to put my hand up.
"I'd spoken to Berkeley as well so it wasn't just Dapto I was looking at ... I was more just after that first-grade opportunity."
Leikvoll plans to inject passion into his junior club after the Canaries failed to make the finals this year.
"Dapto's been a strong club for many years so to finish out of the five in any year isn't the best," he said.
"I'm a local junior and being a local guy I'm pretty passionate about the joint. I've been involved with the place for over 20 years.
"That's good in the sense that I want to get that camaraderie back into the club and I want Dapto fighting for premierships."
Leikvoll secured the services of the bulk of last year's roster and looks forward to developing youngsters.
'We've signed quite a few blokes back up from last year and we'll try to add to that as well," he said.
"Michael Korkidas is coming back. John Kennedy and Matt Handcock are going to play for us as well, so I'm looking forward to seeing them play.
"I'm ecstatic to have Nathan Jones on board. He's a Dapto junior and he's been with the Cutters previously, so he'll be a very big part of what we do.
"We've relied on the kids before and we've sort of gone away from that a little bit.
"There's some kids that are probably one or two years away so we need to build a team around them."
While he's looking to put his stamp on the club long-term, Leikvoll admits that rugby league is a results-based business.
"I don't think anything's long-term unless you're getting results," he said.
"I can say I want to do it for 20 years but if you don't get results you're probably in it for one.
"I'll just take it as it comes and do my best."
(image & story: Illawarra Mercury)