New coach Claydon plansto play on next season
JACK Claydon, Minehead Barbarians’ new head coach, says he will continue playing next season despite missing most of the past winter through injury.
The 30-year-old suffered a prolapsed disc in his back which resulted in only six appearances for the side since returning to the club after playing for Taunton Titans.
“My back is ok now,” said Claydon who played at scrum half and centre for the Babas last season.
“I want to continue where Mick (last season’s coach) left off by getting the lads to enjoy themselves.
“No one gets paid so I don’t want the lads to put pressure on themselves.
“We did remarkably well to come third last season in Somerset Premier. Certainly my returning to Minehead ignited my love for the game even though I didn’t play much.
“We don’t get paid for playing so the guys have to realise they are playing with their mates and for the love of the game.”
Claydon also revealed that Mick Orton, who stepped down as head coach in April after six years in charge, will be very much involved with the club again next season.
“He will be running the touch line and managing the side,” added Claydon, whose day-time job is a supervisor at the new Hinkley Point power station being built.
“He will be very much my mentor and I’m pleased about that. We will be looking to strengthen the 2nd XV.
“I will also be getting the support of the likes of Dave Swann, Andrew Stevens and Brian Stevens who were very much involved with the club last season.
“One of our problems last season was the amount of injuries we had. That’s why it was so good to finish third in Somerset Premier despite these problems.
“It was very difficult for Mick to field a settled side but there was nothing he could do about that.”
Minehead’s players will be reporting back for pre-season training on the first week of next month. Claydon is planning a boot camp and will be concentrating on fitness training in the first three weeks.
He said: “I’m looking forward to the new season and crossing my fingers I will stay fit. I have to thank our physio Emily for helping me to get fit again.”
Minehead will be holding a players’ meeting at the end of this month at which the captains will be chosen.
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