Stephen Smith as new Academy Director

Westcliff RFC are pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Smith as their new Academy Director.

On the back of consistent improvement and success of the Academy over the past few years, the club is now taking the next steps with its Academy starting with the appointment of Smith and an exciting coaching group that will work closely with the clubs senior coaches Chris Waring, John Rudd and Matt Stockdale.

There will be four squads – two teams in both the under 17 and 18 age groups – with the best squad on merit selected for the Academy first team that will contest the National Cup which they have set as their main target over the next 2 seasons.

To prepare for such a challenge, the squad will play three games per weekend; both age group teams on Sundays and the Academy first team competing on Saturdays, ideally against Westcliff 1st XV opponents Academy or sides of a higher level with fixtures expertly organised by Mark Morrissey and Peter Osborne.

Smith has selected an exciting coaching team full of expertise and experience. Head Forward coach will be Steve Taylor, closely supported by Billy Morrant and Dave Golding. His counterpart in the back division will be Steve Hume, with Gary Collins and Jon Marsh aiding him. Meanwhile, Alex Knight will take control of the all important role of Defence Coach, as David Lloyd’s Maso Bowles directs the player’s strength and conditioning.

The Academy coaching team guided by senior coaches Chris Waring, John Rudd and Matt Stockdale, plan to focus on training with and learning from the 1st XV squad with the long term goal of continuing to produce Academy players seamlessly into the senior teams.

With a brand new Clubhouse, tournament grade pitches, gym and the full backing of the town’s best rugby coaching, the long term plan will not only lead to certain success, but to an exciting foundation for the club to build further generations of talented players upon.

Any new players interested in being part of the Academy please contact Stephen Smith – dudleysmith@btinternet.com