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Middleton stays in charge as Cheltenham aim higher

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: July 08, 2010

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LIAM Middleton will remain as head coach of Cheltenham Rugby Club after leading them to the South West One East title last season.

The Zimbabwean is currently academy manager and assistant coach (defence) at Championship side Bristol RFC.

Having had six years of international coaching experience on the IRB World Sevens Series, Cheltenham have confirmed he will continue to guide the playing department.

He will be assisted by Matt Sherratt, whose role will continue as backs and attack coach.

Sherratt recently graduated from the RFU level four coaching course and is employed at Worcester Warriors in the academy coaching staff.

Middleton said: "Matt brings a clear attacking philosophy and a high level of coaching acumen to our backline.

"His input to the club will be invaluable next season."

Stu Eades, a Rugby Football Union employee, takes on the reins as head coach of the Cheltenham United team.

The club continue to place emphasis on the depth of their playing squad, and Middleton said a successful second team was another goal.

Eades aims to bring his coaching expertise and team and personal management to make the seconds a success.

The club have also announced an addition to the coaching staff, with Will Mbanga joining from St Edward's school in Cheltenham.

He has coached at the famous Craven Week tournament in South Africa and the Junior World Championships.

He has also coached two of South Africa's well-known club teams, Wanderers RFC and Pirates RFC.

He then acted as a skills and conditioning consultant to the Super 14 rugby franchises Sharks and Golden Lions and later with the Springboks.

Middleton said: "I have known about Will's coaching reputation for many years.

"His CV speaks for itself and I know he will fit perfectly into our coaching philosophy and the set-up at the club.

"His addition to the coaching team gives Cheltenham an unrivalled level of expertise, experience and character."

The club are also linking closely with their junior age groups.

All of the current coaching staff have experience in delivering coach education courses and this year they will be putting time into driving the level of coaching in the junior section.

The Under-17s and Colts have been invited to join in and benefit from the pre season program at the club.

Middleton said: "The club's future lies in the core of loyal players who will come through its junior sections."

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