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Mike Gillick oversees backroom changes at Shelford Rugby Club

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Shelford Rugby Club head coach Mike Gillick. Picture: Cat Goryn
Shelford Rugby Club head coach Mike Gillick. Picture: Cat Goryn

Coaching revamp at the Davey Field

Mike Gillick has overseen a restructure of the coaching set-up at Shelford Rugby Club.

There has been a big revamp of the playing squad this summer, and the same can be said of the behind-the-scenes structure.

“Quite a bit of our time has been invested in getting the right coaching team and getting the right people, which we’re quite excited about,” said Gillick, who is the head coach.

He will oversee team matters while working with the backs, where he will be assisted by Charlie Baker, who will also concentrate on the attack.

Alan Lane, who works for the RFU and is an under-18 county coach, has taken over as Shelford’s forwards’ coach, and The Perse School head of rugby Liam St John is taking over as defence coach.

“Liam is very analytical,” said Gillick. “His sole focus will be to pick up the defence to develop our defensive strategies and defensive plans and sort the technical aspect of that.”

Phil Graves has come in to be head of video analysis.

“It will give us more information, feedback and coaching tools to show players,” said Gillick. “If we can give them images of plays, it will help.”

James Herbert will be second team Nomads’ head coach, with Chris Clayton-Smith to be the skills coach for Nomads, but also oversee an academy that is being created at the Davey Field this season.

“We’re trying to build links with all the teams,” said Gillick. “We have seven senior colts coming through this year, hoping to push into the teams.

“We’re taking Bishop’s Stortford as a local role model and then Exeter as a global role model to develop players that know Shelford and want to come through the club.

“We have set up an academy as well, led by Chris Clayton-Smith. By the time they have come through the colts, they know what it means to play at Shelford so the hard work of developing a colt is done for you.

“We’re trying to build foundations in what we’re trying to achieve.

“The reason for the academy is that men’s rugby can be very demanding coming straight out of colts. We’re having a mentoring scheme with the first-team players to help the colts players coming through.

“We will have four to five games a year. It’s about making sure it’s a gradual progression so they are comfortable within themselves.

“If we can show them a pathway through the colts then I think they will feel a little bit more involved.”

Gillick also reserved praise for team manager Greg Hind.

“He has put in a huge amount of work behind the scenes to make it a community club and more inclusive,” said the head coach.

“Greg is very good at mediating between the teams. There are not many people in the club that he doesn’t know.”

Gillick added: “I had to get the right coaches around me who believe in the same thing. We’re here for the long run, we’re here for the highs and lows.

“We all believe if we put the hard work in now then we can get a well-structured club.”

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