City of Derry are hoping to attract a high profile new Head Coach as the club prepares to announce details of an ambitious restructuring of their coaching set-up.
Current First XV Head Coach Terry McMaster, who only took over from Mark Nicholl in January, is expected to assume the role of ‘Technical Director of Coaching’ at Judges Road and will oversee the changes whilst also providing hands-on back-up to the new coach once he is in position.
With Derry playing in the new-look All Ireland League Division 2B next season following their 12th placed finish in 2A this year, the club is hoping the position of Head Coach will appeal to candidates, both in Ireland and abroad, with experience of professional rugby and who may be looking at a long-term future in rugby coaching. There is also the possibility that the new Head Coach could be brought on board in a player-coach capacity.
Current out-half Richard McCarter, who has already begun his coaching qualifications, is likely to be asked to take on the role of backs coach whilst Jason Mitchell, who was brought in alongside McMaster in January, will be forwards coach.
The club are hoping McMaster’s new role will allow him to oversee player development throughout the club, providing a definitive playing style which can be adopted by teams at all levels within Judges Road and help players move between levels easier.
McMaster’s workload as principal of Drumahoe Primary School meant he was unlikely to be able to accommodate a full-time coaching role next season so the move to Technical Director should suit and the club is hoping that the idea of working under the experienced Stage 5 representative coach, who has worked at various levels within the Ulster Branch, will draw in high-level candidates.
A club spokesperson confirmed the plan and said they hoped they could get the new man in place as soon as possible to begin preparations, including player recruitment, for next season.
“Ideally we are looking for someone who has coached in the All-Ireland League or higher and they must have a minimum Stage 4 current IRFU coaching qualification (accredited) or something similar,” explained the spokesperson.
“This is an excellent opportunity for someone and we hope that by making these changes we can put in place a structure that will provide a coaching continuity while simultaneously helping player development at all levels.
“Anyone hoping to forge a career in coaching would benefit from working alongside some like Terry McMaster and hopefully we can get the right man to take the club forward.”
Limavady at Kingspan Stadium
Meanwhile, Limavady Rugby Club face a red letter day this weekend when they travel to the Kingspan Stadium to take on Larne in the Gordon West Cup final on Saturday (k.o. 3.00pm).
Having lost out in the promotion stakes to their cup final opponents, Paul O’Kane’s side will be anxious to end the season on a high note in what is expected to be a very close final between two evenly matched sides.