Warren Spragg has spelled out his aims in the wake of his appointment as new coach at Fylde RFC.
Spragg succeeds Paul Arnold at a challenging time for the club, who only just staved off the threat of relegation from National League One in what was a demanding, disappointing season and will have their work cut out to avoid another such struggle next term.
Spragg, who is quitting as a player, said: “I can’t wait to turn the page on a new chapter in its development as it approaches its centenary in 2019.
“We will concentrate on maintaining the club’s status at the top of the National leagues and playing a style of attacking, creative rugby for which we are known around the country.
“We have a group of fine young players already and we will continue to provide a development route for North West talent and integrating them with the senior, experienced core of the squad.
Spragg, 34, a former Italian international, added: “We are working immediately on putting in place a coaching and management structure for the 2017-18 season and beyond, and we hope to announce details towards the end of this week.
“I’m pleased that the role was an open competition - I would have wanted nothing less than to be judged against other strong candidates.
“Fortunately, the head coach role is a part-time one as I’m full time with Sale Sharks academy helping to develop the very best North West rugby talent and I will be able to balance the roles as I have done for the past few seasons.
“I am also retiring from playing at the end of this season as I want to concentrate wholly on coaching in order to achieve the club’s objectives.”
Fylde chairman of rugby Roger Banks said: “We had an impressive field of external applicants - in the end, though, the strongest candidate was Warren who impressed us with his vision and clarity as well as his technical coaching knowledge.
“He’s a very talented, young coach. We are very excited at the prospects for the 1st team and the direction Warren wants to take the club.”