Plymouth Albion’s new head coach, Ben Gulliver, has made three crucial coaching appointments to help prepare the National One side for the forthcoming season.
Exeter Chiefs player Gareth Steenson will continue as a player for the Devon team but take on a coaching role with the backs at Plymouth Albion. Gareth has a lot of experience to pass on as the Exeter club’s leading point scorer of all time. His former team mate, Carl Rimmer, will be in charge of scrums and forward play. Carl, who joined Exeter from the Cornish Pirates in 2012, was forced to retire suddenly last year after suffering a stroke during training.
The backroom team is further strengthened by Albion player Dan Mugford who says he is really excited by his new coaching role. “I’ve been a senior member for a few years now. I’m still only 27 and I have a lot to learn, but I have a lot to pass on too,” he says.
“I can use my knowledge and experience and my connection with the team. It’s good to be able to have personal relationships with the players. They have my respect and I hope I have theirs. I think it helps to be a player and understand the game and what it’s like out there. Some great coaches haven’t played, but for me I think it’s important to have that experience because in the heat of battle some things change.
“This is Ben’s first head coach role and it’s all fairly new in the coaching set-up but we all work together very well. Kieran had us in a great place as a squad and we really have to push that on. I’ll mainly be looking at the backs with Gareth. Between the four of us we have a huge amount of experience.
“I knew of Ben – I’ve played against him a few times – and he’s brought a good energy to the club. I’m enjoying working with him. My advice to players? I suppose don’t be afraid of making mistakes and enjoy playing rugby. And winning is a great way of enjoying rugby!”
Ben Gulliver comments: “This is the final piece of the jigsaw in forming a team around me I can trust who will support me and help take the team to the next level. Dan brings a lot of experience and knowledge to this role, which will help improve and develop the skills of the Albion players.”