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2019 Coaching Update

As part of the Southern Districts Rugby Club Community, we just wanted to touch base with you to firstly thank you for your past support of the club whether it is in the capacity as a player, coach, manager, board member, sponsor, member or supporter.

We hope you will continue your support of the Club and are looking forward to seeing some big wins for the club in front of some vocal crowds at Forshaw Oval in the 2019 season.

Secondly, we just wanted to update you on the coaching roster for the 2019 season, mention the legacy left by Matt Barr and cover off on a few aspects of what is planned for the year ahead.

2019 marks 30 years since the Club was established with the amalgamation of St George and Port Hacking Rugby Clubs. To date, a first grade premiership has been elusive, although we have come close in recent years including losing 15-14 to Sydney Uni in the dying seconds of the 2012 grand final and then to Eastwood in the 2014 grand final.

The first grade coaches for the 2019 season were recently announced with Don Mackinnonreturning to the club as head coach. Don played rugby for Sunnybank, a year with the Queensland Reds Squad, Easts, French club GrenobleNorthampton SaintsEdinburgh Rugby and received 16 Caps for Scotland A and another 4 Caps for Scotland. Don’s coaching includes development officer for the Edinburgh region of Scotland, head coach at Galashiels Rugby Cluband head coach at Southern Districts in the mid-1990s.

Don will be assisted in First Grade by Michael Black as backs coach. Blacky played his junior rugby for Sylvania Bulldogs before joining Southern Districts as a Colt. He made his First Grade debut for the club at 19 years of age. A few years later he travelled to the UK where he played 2 seasons for Driffield Rugby Club before returning to West Harbour, and then back to Southern Districts where he played around 200 games. He also had the honour of playing several seasons for Australian Sevens team.

Don and Blacky strongly believe we have the players that can win a premiership in 2019 and are excited by the mix of youth and experience with around 15 high quality players coming up to grade this year and another 25 to 30 players moving up from this year’s Colts. This illustrates the importance of having a strong Colts program and culture within the Club.

Matt Barr has done a fantastic job as head coach in the last 5 years and 3 years earlier as assistant coach. During that time, First Grade made 2 grand finals5 semi finals and 6 quarter finals and 2nd grade won a premiership. Barrie’s knowledge and experience will be invaluable for Don & Blacky to tap into and it’s great to hear he will be sticking around and continue his support of the club.

The following is a list of other coaches who will be part of the Club in some way, shape or form for the 2019 season:

  • Joe Barakat – Joe was the first club captain in our inaugural year and his coaching knowledge and experience will be invaluable with stints at Southern Districts (1998-2000), West HarbourNTT Communications and Toshiba Brave Lupus (Japan), UlsterNSW WaratahsWestern Force and most recently, at the Melbourne Rebels.

  • Tim Davidson - Tim captained Sydney University to 8 premiership wins and played 36 super rugby games including for the NSW WaratahsWestern Force and Melbourne Rebels. Tim will be a huge asset to the club and is keen to provide support and guidance across all grades.

  • Glen Ella - Glen has a wealth of playing and coaching experience. Glen played 4 tests for Australia in the early 1980’s and 11 seasons at Randwick. His coaching experience includes Australian Sevens coach and assistant coach of the Australian and Englandnational teams.

  • Jai Ayoub - Jai has only recently retired from playing. He was a skilful flyhalf helping lead Eastwood to 2 premiership wins in 2014 and 2015. He is also a handy goal kicker and drop goal kicker and will be helping our kickers hone their skills in this critical area.

  • Chris Storey – Chris played a few seasons in First Grade from the inaugural year of the Club and has coached Southern Districts at juniors, colts and grade for many years and it’s great to have him back on board. Good luck if you can find a more passionate coach than Stores.

  • Jay Tregonning – Jay has been the scrum coach at Southern Districts for the last 2 seasons. In recent months, Jay has been building his knowledge and experience with Japanese club, Kyuden Voltex as their forwards consultant.

  • Steve Peters – Steve played over 100 games for the club including first grade. He coached 4th Grade a few years ago and this year was an assistant coach with Colts. Steve has good rugby brain and has built a very good rapport with the players.

  • Les ‘Doc’ Davison – Doc played over 200 games for Randwick in the 1980s including several in first grade before moving to Southern Districts in 1991 where he played a few seasons. Doc loves running rugby and has a great eye for identifying weaknesses in opposition defence.

  • Jayson Joerdens – Jayson will act as head coach of the Southern Districts Colts in 2019 and brings with him a lot of rugby experience including director of the Jackal Rugby Academy for the last 2 years. Jayson was also assistant coach of 4th Grade at Southern this year.

  • Doug Ryan – Doug is already known by many of the colts and younger grade players after his involvement with Southern Districts Colts in 2017. He will be assisting Jayson with Colts again in 2019. Doug’s coaching experience includes Randwick Colts, U17 Sydney Juniors, U16 Combined High Schools, St Gregory’s College and this year, head coach at Edmonton Rugby Club in Canada.

Don and Blacky are really keen to build a strong player culture and club spirit both on and off the field. They will be endeavouring to include Colts players in as many club training sessions and social events as possible and will be ensuring first grade colts get to train against first and 2nd grade during the year.

Official pre-season training kicked off last Saturday morning at the north Wanda Sandhills with Klinton Hoare taking around 40 colts and grade players through their paces. We are hoping to build on that number in coming weeks. Initially there will be a mid-week session at Forshaw from 6pm sharp. This session is currently on Tuesday nights but may change from time to time.

Any past, present or future players who would like to be kept up to date of all training sessions and other important news, should contact Ian Wilson on 0410 819 593. Wilso will add players to the ‘Whats App’ and grab any other important details.

The platform is being laid for a strong year across all grades in 2019. Once again, thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you down at Forshaw Oval.

Best Regards

Southern Districts Rugby Club.

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