Coaching revolution at Jersey RFC

- Advertisement -

writes Chris Lake.

All three have been identified.

The first player/coach will be Tongan Latu Maka’afi , player of the match in this year’s Siam Cup.

The second will be Nathan Kemp, who will be returning to Jersey from New Zealand in October.

The third will be a new name at the club, Kearn Yates, former England under-21 captain who currently players in the back row for Bradford and Bingley.

Now in his early 30s, he will combine his job at the club with that of his other profession, as an estate agent.

At a meeting that continued until 11.30 pm, only two members from over 70 voted against the proposition.

All three men will be under contract to the club but paid for by an anonymous benefactor who is committed to subsidising professionalism for the next three years.

For re-elected chairman Chris Scott, the members’ primary concern before the vote was the problem of funding.

‘The last thing we wanted was to be funded for one year but, if we won promotion, to find ourselves in financial difficulties the next and to go straight down a division again,’ he said.

‘However, those against the move to semi-professionalism have been comforted by the fact that we have been guaranteed the money for at least three years.

At some stage in the future we will have that in writing.’ Also in writing will be the contracts; the first one to be signed by Latu.

‘Immigration have given us until August to issue him a contract,’ said Scott, ‘otherwise he will have to go back to Tonga, and I must add that the Immigration authorities have been fully supportive.

A new committee, which will look after the player/coaches but which hasn’t even been given a name yet, will draw up the contracts with the advice of a lawyer.’ The club’s main sponsor next season will again be Collins Stewart.

The committee consists of Scott, Eric Axford (treasurer), club captain Rad Montgomery, club member Barry Stead, and player/1st team captain, Steve O’Brien.

‘I also hope that last year’s club secretary, Chris Lynch, will agree to be on the committee,’ said Scott, ‘although I haven’t asked him yet.’ For Dai Burton, former coach and now elected as the club’s first Director of Rugby, the club’s decision, in his opinion, is the right one.

‘Partly because of Nathan and Latu last year, and the club’s performances in the latter part of the season, the number of Academy players has gone up from 300 to 430.

Part of the new coaches’ roles will be to work with some of these players and Latu is already an inspiration when he works with the kids on a Sunday morning.

‘This was one of the biggest turn-outs I can remember, ever, for an agm.

The club has also turned itself around, financially, and last year, under a new manager, made a profit.’ While Scott was also elected, unopposed, as JRFC chairman, the only change to last year’s club committee was Gareth Davies being elected as 2nd XV captain.

Davies, and Guy Hinks, who only failed by two votes to unseat Montgomery as club captain, will also serve as coaches under Burton’s leadership.

The club last night paid tribute to the late John Sauvage, a former player and stalwart groundsman.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.