Issue 90 - Page 62

EUAN MACK Euan Mack , Head Couch of Dumfries Saints Rugby Club primarily overseeing the forwards , he recently told Rugby Club Magazine ,

Dumfries Saints RFC

” I stopped playing rugby at the age of 29 , my main position being hooker , due to a knee injury and after a year off I started coaching the lads at Dumfries . I ’ ve been the head coach for 3 years now which spanned covid so you could say 2 years in total overseeing the forwards whilst Paddy Coupar is our backs coach . As for travelling , yes Aberdeen is a long way away from our club , but we have been in the same league as Orkney before and most of our opponents are generally on the west side of Scotland so by now we are all use to the travelling and use the time to enjoy the camaraderie with each other after the game and with the other teams we play .
In a recent fixture 18 of our 1st team squad had come through our junior ranks and by the end of the game 5 of those who were still on the pitch were only 18 years old . Our team philosophy is very much about playing the game ahead of us and and sticking to our strengths and what we are good at . With only two 1 ½ hour training sessions per week our time and focus is spent on team cohesion- individual ; skills improvement is largely down to the individual player . I can`t speak highly enough about Dom and our youth section and as a club we have a great bunch steering the ship . This can be observed at any of our matches where our younger members are involved as ball boys / girls , operating the scoreboard etc . Local derby ’ s are always great fun with clubs like Newton Stewart for example who we have a very positive relationship with and communication lines are opened between coaches and players in the true nature of Rugby Union .
Dumfries Saints is a really friendly community club with our clubhouse bulging on matchdays and whether your 1 year old or 90 , just like a member I was chatting to recently . You will see everyone enjoying themselves before , during and after our games . Best wishes to everyone at the club for the rest of the year and for the rest of this season !”
Interview with Sharon Hiddleston , President .
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED AND WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED YOU TO THE CLUB ? Same as other parents . My son started rugby when he was six so , as a family , we would go long and watch him play . Eventually , I then helped out doing kitchen duties while my son progressed through the ranks . As my son approached junior level I was asked if I would join the club committee , which I did , taking on the role of Hospitality Manager . I enjoyed arranging functions and events and welcoming the people to the club . I also became more and more involved with the running of the club and , as my family were now adults , I felt I could contribute more – hence the presidency .
DO YOU HAVE A JUNIOR / MINI COACHING PHILOSOPHY AT THE CLUB ? The Saints youth system currently consists of over 290 players representing 15 youth teams ranging from the micro squads P1-3 , the Minis squads P4-P7 , the boys youth squads U13-U18s competing in the West Club Conference and all 3 girls ’ teams at U14s , U16s and U18s . These squads are run by 46 coaches and managers who are all volunteers which are vital to the success of the club .
The players are mostly recruited by the development department that runs within the school rugby arm of the club that consists of 5 secondary schools and 27 primary schools however players also travel from across D & G to join the club .
When the players reach youth level , they have numerous opportunities to increase their knowledge and opportunities within the game and , as mentioned below , with high success . Their first opportunity to pursue their professional playing career is by being selected to trial for the FOSCROC Academy and Player Development Pathway . Prior to lockdown the club had 10 players selected for training within the academy . The Development Department also provides coaching and refereeing qualifications to all players who wish to increase their knowledge of the game and become part of the club ’ s coaching and match official ’ s network .
With a successful season for both boys ’ and girls ’ squads so far , their attention is now turning to the national cup competitions .