He only started his coaching career this year, but already Haze Reweti has made a big impression.

After taking his Whanganui Boxon team to the grand final of the Taranaki Rugby League Paddock To Plate Butchery Premiership, Reweti has been named coach of the Manawatū Mustangs.

Reweti has named a 25 man squad made up of Boxon and Linton Cobra’s players, set to take on Taranaki and Wellington in August.

“Looking at the team, this is a strong side,” Reweti said.

“I’ve chosen a team that is not just talented, but they’re smart footballers. They can adapt to what I’m trying to teach.”

The 22-year-old said that he would approach coaching the Mustangs the same way as he did with Boxon, using the things that worked for his side and tweaking things that didn’t.

“Obviously we don’t have a big player pool to choose from, so the smart option is to run with what a lot of the boys already know and what they’ve used in past years.”

“I encouraged my boys all year to earn an opportunity to play for teams like Mustangs or Maori and I told them if they get that opportunity, to jump on it.

“This is a high level of football, they’ll learn a lot more and come back and be much better players next year.”

Two years ago, Reweti was playing in the halves for Boxon and the Mustangs, but last year a serious injury in Australia put his playing career on hold.

He is currently rehabbing a torn ACL and meniscus with the intention of getting back out on the field next year – but that doesn’t mean that the coaching stops.

“Coaching is something that I really enjoy, especially because I can’t play at the moment, so, hopefully I can continue to do it and get some playing time in as well,” Reweti said.

“It’s hard not being able to play, but coaching helps you, it keeps me involved and things haven’t been so tough.”

Reweti had his first taste of bitter defeat when his Boxon side lost 42-34 to Bell Block Marist Dragons in the TRL grand final, but he has learned a lot in a short space of time.

“I’ve learned to relax and not be so stressed out. At the start of the year, I knew what I wanted from the boys, but I struggled with getting my messages across.

“Now, I wouldn’t say I’m good at it, but I’ve become a lot better.”

Reweti decided that he would like a crack at coaching the Mustangs halfway through the TRL season.

“It was something I knew that I wanted to do, so I put an application in and was lucky enough to get the job.

“It’s a rewarding job, you get to see people grow and I really enjoy that.”