NICK Maxwell is the latest recently retired player to venture into coaching but will buck the trend and swap codes, after accepting a job with Melbourne Storm in a bid to broaden his experience.The 31-year-old, who retired mid-season after 208 games, has joined the NRL club as a leadership development coach.
The Collingwood premiership captain took on the role after spending a day with the club late last season, as well as speaking to the players early in 2013 about overcoming adversity.
"I never saw myself doing anything like this, but when [Storm coach] Craig [Bellamy] and [football manager] Frank [Ponissi] came and spoke to me and told me what they wanted to do, it appealed to me," Maxwell told the Herald Sun.
"Firstly because of my respect for the Storm organisation and all the guys I've met along the way.
"Also it's a real good opportunity for me.
"I've done a lot of leadership stuff over the past five years and I look forward to try and impart some of that knowledge to the boys here."
Maxwell also has a good relationship with many of the Melbourne players, including captain Cameron Smith.
He approached Smith two days after the 2010 drawn Grand Final for advice on how to get the players up for the replay, given the NRL player's ability to back up after State of Origin games.
The Storm are based at AAMI Park, which is next door to Collingwood's Westpac Centre on Olympic Boulevard.
Maxwell will work with the Storm's emerging leaders such as Jesse Bromwich, Will Chambers and Kevin Proctor.
Bellamy said the fact Maxwell had been captain of the biggest club in Australia, as well as having overcome adversity himself, made him a valuable acquisition to their coaching team.
"I didn't think then that we would one day try and get him to work with us, but when he retired we thought he might be interested in doing some stuff with us," Bellamy said.
"It's great to have him on board and I know he'll be a big help to the club and the team."
Maxwell joins Dean Cox, Daniel Giansiracusa, Ryan O'Keefe and Ben Rutten as players to have retired this year and gone straight into coaching roles.
Cox and Giansiracusa have stayed at the clubs they played for – West Coast and the Western Bulldogs – while Rutten has accepted a role as backline coach at Richmond after a 229-game career with Adelaide. O'Keefe joined the Crows.