MAJOR premiers Lambton Jaffas have brought in what is believed to be the first paid administrator at a Northern NSW Football club.
The Jaffas have hired Joel Grenell in the new role of general manager for their 2015 Northern NSW National Premier League title defence.
The 31-year-old, who played half a season with Hamilton two seasons ago, will also take the pitch for the Jaffas, who won the NPL grand final 2-0 over Weston in September.
Jaffas president Scott Douglas said Grenell, who has a background in sports marketing with Puma and Nike as well as experience as a player manager, would focus on bringing in and working with sponsors as well as building the club's culture and facilities at Edden Oval.
Grenell's position will be part-time, but Douglas said the club hoped to make the role full-time if it proved a success.
"We are just trying to increase what we can do off the field and get a bit more professionalism around that while compensating someone for their time," Douglas said.
He said the added demands on administrators with admission to the NPL this year was part of the reason for the move.
"There is extra work and we want to continue growing the club on and off the field, so we thought it was good to have someone as well credentialled as Joel to add to the professionalism of what we are doing," Douglas said.
"We were coping, but we want to do other things as well.
"There's only so many hours in the day."
Grenell was excited at the opportunity and believed the move could lead to other clubs creating paid administrative positions.
"With the FFA Cup coming in and this talk from the FFA of having C and D leagues going forward in the next five to 10 years, I just think the Jaffas are being proactive so that if anything comes up in the future, they can actually do something there," Grenell said.
"It probably helps that I've been at Nike and Puma, with sports marketing in football and in grassroots football, and they are just looking to bring some new energy into that role and to get more people on board. The way the A-League is going with more younger supporters and avid supporters, they are looking to cash in on that by being more professional.
"It's up to me now to make it worthwhile for the club and bring in more revenue and good people to the club who fit the culture and direction."
Grenell, who is a business partner with Jaffas director of football Chris Sneddon at Connexion Sports Management, said he would be based in Newcastle four days a week to work, train and play.
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