Ahead of his first pre-season session, Bury Rugby Club’s new head coach Jack Heald says his role is to inject new belief into the players.
The former London Irish Wild Geese’s head coach will put the squad through their paces for the first time on Tuesday, as he looks to begin laying the foundations for a promotion tilt.
Heald knows what it takes to get a side out of Bury’s National League Three level after helping his former club — previously known as London Irish Amateurs — up as champions of the South-West division as a backs coach in the 2012/13 season, before becoming head coach as they were relegated after finishing third-from-bottom last time out.
He said: “The main thing for me is installing confidence and belief into the players and getting them to back themselves on the pitch and make the right decisions.
“Players will make mistakes and it is about learning from those mistakes.
“I want to get the players to express themselves a bit more when they go on the field and fundamentally enjoy themselves, but be as competitive as possible and win the majority of our games so we can potentially do something in the league.”
The 30-year-old, who played as a scrum-half for Richmond and then Fleetwood was forced to retire from playing when only 24 due to a serious knee injury.
He went on to cut his coaching teeth with Richmond’s second team before spending two years with Premiership side London Irish’s academy from 2011.
But after relocating from Berkshire to be closer to his Norfolk-born wife’s family, he has warned a second promotion for Bury in three years would be anything but easy.
“We won the West division of that league and it is a tough old campaign,” he said. “When you look down the league table there are probably about six or seven teams that will fancy trying to win the league and it is no mean feat.”
Heald, a self-employed rugby coach who will look to go out to schools in the area, will be taking two training sessions a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and will work alongside director of rugby Gavin Hogg and playing chairman Terry Sands in running and picking the team .
“I am really looking forward to getting up there and getting a session or two under our belts,” he said.
Ahead of their National League Three London and South East campaign kicking off on September 6 at Gravesend, Bury will warm up with pre-season friendlies at Oxfordshire National League Two South side Chinnor on August 9 (3pm), before a three-day training camp in Holland from August 15 and then first and second team games at home to London One North side Brentwood on August 30 (3pm).
The Wolfhounds second XV will also host Ipswich on August 13.
n Bury’s Simon Lord (volunteer of the year) and Andrew Spetch (exceptional volunteer) were awarded for their service to rugby at Eastern Counties Rugby Football Union’s annual dinner.
Stowmarket’s Martin Barnard and and Mildenhall and Red Lodge Eagles’ Alison Gravestone were also named exceptional volunteers.