New Zealander Trevor Will is expected to be officially unveiled as City of Derry’s new Head Coach next week after agreeing to succeed Terry McMaster in the role.
The 63-year-old Kiwi arrives in Derry next Friday and will be followed by another New Zealander, scrum-half Tyler Rogers-Holden, who is awaiting international clearance before completing his own move to Foyleside.
The Judges Road club have been seeking a new Head Coach since McMaster’s decision last summer to step down due to the pressure of work commitments.
Backs coach and out-half Richard McCarter - alongside experienced coach James Doherty and Joe Gallanagh - temporarily stepped into the role last season after negotiations failed to bear fruit. However, with a number of key players departing and Derry struggling for form, McMaster returned to engineer a late season revival which kept Derry in All Ireland League Division 2B.
That is the basis from which Derry’s new coach will look to rebuild with McCarter and the rest of last year’s coaching team remaining in position alongside Will who has 12 years coaching experience with top New Zealand school, Hasting Boys’ High School while has also coached the Hawkes Bay under 16 side.
During that time Will coached a number of future All Black stars including Josh Kronfeld, Roger Randle, Danny Lee, Hika Elliot, Ben Tameifuna and past captain of the New Zealand Sevens side, Tafai Ioasa.
Will is no stranger to Derry though, having coached at Foyle College from 2004 to 2006 when he led the College to Ulster Schools’ Bowl success. That team that included a number of players who have since gone on to play for Derry such as Jack Caithness, who captained the College team.
Will’s arrival will be a major boost for Derry as they seek to mount a promotion challenge this season and the new coach’s prospects will be boosted by the return from injury of club captain David Ferguson who missed the majority of last season.
Simon Logue is another who is expected to be available for the start of the new AIL campaign while David Funston could also make a return.
The arrival of Rogers-Holden, who can operate along the half-back line, will offset the loss of Jason Bloomfield who has moved to Rainey in the close season.