Four heads something new

The New Plymouth Old Boys coaching crew are confident the broth will not be spoilt at Vogeltown Park this season.

Gone from last year are Tony Earl and Neil Barnes, replaced by the quartet of Michael Carr, Scott Ireland, Phil Mitchell and Paul Tito for the premier club season. The four former Taranaki representatives will be supported by manager Bruce Lilley.

While it appears a stacked line-up of strong-minded individuals, each were confident they would combine seamlessly for the betterment of their much-loved club.

Rather than have a head coach delegating tasks, Carr said they would all work on even keel.

“We’re trying something different, really.”

Without outlining every job description, Mitchell would work with the players on the breakdown and concentrate on the scrum, Ireland will work with the backs and the side’s attack, as well as defence, Tito will be in charge of the lineout and Carr will work on game plans.

The formation of the group followed the realisation that Ireland and Tito were considering putting their names forward, while Carr and Mitchell were also keen.

“In the end we just talked together,” Ireland said. “We thought there was going to be a change in the structure anyway so we put our heads together and applied for the role.”

Carr felt it simply made sense for them to band together.

“We’ve worked things out and fitted our roles around our individual strengths. We’ve all been resource coaches but it’s hard when you sit on the outside and come in for a short space of time.”

Put simply, the group thought it was better for the club to utilise the group as a whole than lose two of them.

“Everyone has a huge amount to contribute,” Ireland added. “It’s just good to have everyone on board. We’ve all got young families and are busy, so if someone is away it’s a big advantage to have the rest of the guys there because things just carry on as normal.”

They admit the major challenge for the group, off-field anyway, was to maintain a clear message to the playing squad.

“We just have to have a clear understanding of what our roles are,” Carr said.

Time will tell if it works but you get the feeling the club was becoming more anxious by the year to add to its title tally which was last updated in 2008.

– Taranaki Daily News


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