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Complete coaching overhaul at Ross Sutherland as club reveal six-man team will take them forward

By Andrew Henderson

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A new six-man coaching team is in place at Ross Sutherland after the club’s committee voted through a change of structure.

John Mann previously combined his playing duties with his roles as development officer and head coach, but he has been joined by five familiar faces.

The new set up sees different areas of play broken down, with Mann staying on as attack coach.

Previous head coach John Mann will remain on the coaching team, where he will be joined by five familiar faces at Ross Sutherland. Picture Peter Carson
Previous head coach John Mann will remain on the coaching team, where he will be joined by five familiar faces at Ross Sutherland. Picture Peter Carson

Ian Thomson will take over responsibility for coaching Ross Sutherland’s defence, while David Kennedy will focus on individual skills and player wellbeing.

His brother Murray will pay close attention to scrums, with David Gill dealing with line-outs.

Club president John Scott is also on board as the overall coach co-ordinator.

It is an unorthodox way of working, but Scott says it is one that will meet the specific demands of Ross Sutherland.

“As a club, we did have a couple of different options, but the thinking was that John Mann ended up doing it himself last year and it is too much for one person,” Scott explained.

“He has quite a lot going on, so we wanted to be able to let John play rugby, enjoy his Saturdays and take a bit of the pressure off him.

“We felt there were areas we needed to improve on from last year, but there was some really good stuff going on as well with what John has already done, so it was just a case of evolving.

“Some people might think it’s a different way of doing things. In the team we’ve got, all of them could be head coaches in their own right, and we’re all keen to do something to help push things on, but we can’t commit the time required to be an individual head coach.

“There’s too much to do, so you have to split it up.”

It may be an unusual system, but Scott is confident that there is more than enough experience in the coaching group to make it work.

“You’ve got Murray, both Davids and myself who are all ex-captains,” Scott added.

“You’ve got John as a Level Three coach, and you’ve got Murray and myself as Level Two coaches.

“Ian has played rugby at a high level both in this country and abroad, and he also coached with me when we coached a few years ago. David Gill is a qualified PE teacher too, so we’ve got most bases covered.

“We’re all like-minded in how we want to play the game which helps – we want an expansive, fast, attacking style of rugby but we recognise that we need to have strong set-piece as well.”

Read the full edition of today's North Star here.

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