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Ross Sutherland open to all applicants as search begins in Invergordon for new head coach to lead Stags into new era

By Andrew Henderson

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Ross Sutherland Rugby Club are on the lookout for a new head coach.

Adverts have been put on the club's social media channels appealing for someone who can lead the first team to the top of the Caledonia North Two – and possibly beyond.

It marks a change in strategy at the Naval Grounds, who have run over the last couple of years without a single head coach, instead utilising a six-man coaching team with different specialist areas.

Ross Sutherland are looking for a new head coach for their first team.
Ross Sutherland are looking for a new head coach for their first team.

There have been no departures, but after a tricky few years for domestic rugby in general and several of the coaching team finding they could not dedicate all of their time to the club all-year round, they believe it is time to see what options are out there for a new approach.

"We're at the stage where we want to cast our net and see who's out there, and hopefully bring somebody in that has fresh ideas," Ross Sutherland club chairman John Scott explained.

"We've got a good pool of players, a lot of young players there that have come through the youth system, and it's a good chance to bring someone else in.

"It's exciting, we're looking forward to seeing who throws their hat into the ring and getting applications in. I don't know who's out there. I don't know who will be keen to take on the challenge, so we'll see how it goes.

"A lot of the guys that have been involved have work commitments, and actually have other commitments at the club as well.

"We've tried the team approach for a couple of years, and that has its merits, but we've got a couple of farmers in the team for example who are out of the mix for large periods of the season. There have been good bits about it, but we thought we would just see who's out there.

"We don't know who is in our area that might really fancy the role, and we're always looking for new volunteers.

"This role is just one of many that we'll be advertising for in the next few months. We want to grow our volunteer base and make sure that there is a very clear message put out there to our local communities that if people want to come and get involved in a thriving, ambitious, friendly sports club, we're here.

"It's more than coaches we're looking for, we're looking for people to get involved in all aspects of the club, so it would be great to hear from people."

One of those other roles likely to become available is treasurer, with Stephan Walker transitioning to other areas of the club after a long-standing commitment to handling the club's finances.

The Stags are keeping an open mind when it comes to recruiting. Options already within the club will be considered, but equally will external applicants – and Scott says they will be joining the Invergordon outfit at an exciting time.

"We'll continue to promote from within as well as externally," he reasoned.

"We've got a fairly good production system within the club, but we do need more coaches, we've identified that.

"It's great to go within, but sometimes you just have to cast the net and see who else is there who might want to come and get involved. That's what this is about.

"It may be that we unearth people from within that we don't know want to have a go at the role, but equally if there's somebody from outwith that's grand as well.

"We're really open-minded about it, we just want to get the right people into the roles that we have. It's quite a big commitment to take that on, but it's a very rewarding role too – having done it as a head coach myself, and then as part of a team, it is very rewarding as well.

"For any new head coach, or anyone joining the club in another role we're trying to fill, with the clubhouse close to completion and us moving back in after not having a building, a base, it's a very exciting time."

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