Cullen turns hand to player management
Fri, 02 Nov 2012 6:51p.m.
By Ross Karl
Christian Cullen’s attacking gifts earned him a lucrative rugby career, and he's now helping current athletes profit from their talents.
The 58-test All Black has moved into player management, applying the lessons he learnt during 11 years as a pro rugby player.
Plenty of businessmen insist their best work is done on the golf course and four handicapper Christian Cullen is no different. Developing a relationship with his new client, five-time World Hockey Player of the Year Australian Jamie Dwyer at Lower Hutt's Shandon course.
“He goes alright. He's not bad for a 14-handicapper. We've had to put him on a scratch today to make it even for the other guys,” says Cullen.
Dwyer's the latest to sign with the recently formed Christian Cullen Management Group, which has All Whites coach Ricki Herbert, Hurricanes assistant Alama Ieremia and star jockey Lisa Allpress in its stables.
Cullen saw a hole in the market for his expertise, stressing the importance of preparing for life after sport during an athlete's career.
“I guess back then I didn't really make the most of those opportunities when they came around. So I'm obviously a lot older and wiser now and you can really see the merits of it,” Cullen says.
Thirty-three-year-old Dwyer arrived on Cullen's books via a contact in Hong Kong, and is keen to explore opportunities on this side of the Tasman.
“I want to keep coming back to New Zealand, play hockey over here and do some development with the junior programme so Christian's management group is the perfect fit,” says Dwyer.
So signing with a Kiwi isn't so bad.
“If he gives me banter about the All Blacks I just turn it around to the Kookaburras versus the Black Sticks. I have lost to the Blacks Sticks once before out of about 30 games and hopefully I never lose another game to them,” Dwyer says.
Having won two foursomes in two days, Cullen and Dwyer hope their partnership will be just as rewarding off the field.
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