ANDY Deacon is excited for a new era to begin at Cinderford RFC as he takes on the role of professional rugby manager.
The former Gloucester prop received the news of his appointment yesterday after interviewing for the role last Thursday.
Deacon’s previous role as director of rugby was axed and he had to apply for the new position as part of the National One club’s desire to overhaul the coaching structure which will also see a head and assistant coach employed.
Though he remains at the helm of the club, his duties and responsibilities have changed dramatically after Cinderford finished 11th in a disappointing 2013/14 season.
Deacon previously played a role in coaching and selecting the first XV but as part of his new position he will manage the professional development of rugby at the Dockham Road club.
Deacon said: “I am very happy to be appointed - they wanted to go through a process of restructuring and that is their prerogative.
“I was very keen to be involved after putting a lot of time and effort into the club over the past 10 years.
“We have had success and I want to continue in the same vein next season. That motivates me and I am looking forward to what lies ahead.
“I will now manage the coaches and though I will take a step back from the coaching itself, I will make the selection process as easy as possible for whoever is appointed.
“This is a different challenge, a different dynamic and an opportunity I am looking forward to.”
Deacon will now be involved in the recruitment process for a head coach. Interviews will take place on Thursday, with a decision expected this weekend.
The head coach will then be involved in the recruitment of an assistant coach alongside Deacon and the committee, before the coaches begin player recruitment and pre-season planning.
Last season’s line-up of Lee Fortey and Brad Davis are still in the running for coaching positions.
Deacon has key qualities in mind when searching for a head coach.
He said: “Whoever is appointed must have experience of National One rugby, they must be innovative, understand the pros and cons of selection, know how to motivate the squad when things aren’t going well and understand the culture of Cinderford.”
President Peter Bell emphasised Deacon’s suitability for the role and outlined how the professional rugby manager would operate alongside the rugby board.
He said: “Andy demonstrated at interview his passion for the club and the responsibility in the change of role.
“He demonstrated his hunger and desire to create a new chapter in his career. It also gives us some continuity and someone that can continue with the Cinderford ethos and work ethic.
“To some outside, this may look like window dressing but I can assure you this is a major change.
“Andy will manage the team of coaches and players, on and off the field. He will set out a clear strategy of the development of rugby at the club over the next three years, and he will produce a plan setting out how the rugby development strategy will be implemented and managed.
“He will report to both the management board and rugby board, creating a more proactive communication line between the players, coaches and management.”
Pre-season home matches against Bridgend and Llandovery are planned, with others to be finalised once the head coach is on board.