Fylde RFC's joint-head coaches are working together well

The appointment of joint-head coaches is working well at Fylde RFC, who have won their first three games of the season ahead of Saturday’s Woodlands meeting with National Two North newcomers Harrogate (3pm).

By Gavin Browne
Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:45 pm

Alex Loney believes he and Chris Briers are well suited to the shared role which they assumed in January, following Warren Spragg’s departure for a full-time coaching post with Premiership club Sale Sharks, though they had to wait until this month for competitive rugby to return.

Last Saturday’s 22-15 success at Huddersfield followed wins over Tynedale and Loughborough Students, leaving Fylde top of the table on points difference from Stourbridge, with 14 points from a possible 15.

Having two men in charge remains highly unusual and had not been tried at Fylde before, though Loney maintains his relationship with Briers gives the club as good a chance as anyone of making a success of it.

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Fylde RFC joint-head coach Alex Loney

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He said: “I think it’s working well but there are not many people I would have done this with. Chris is one of the few.

“I think we’ve known each other since playing Under-13 rugby, our families are close and we’ve got a really good relationship in how we can speak about rugby.

“Spraggy went away from the club for a good reason and I wasn’t that interested in doing the job on my own.

“Having that role with Chris where we can support each other seems to be a really good fit.

“The club has trusted us enough to have created these roles and they seem quite happy with it.”

Spragg’s former assistant Loney and Briers stepped up during lockdown and couldn’t even play a friendly until last month.

Unable to train until the end of March, clubs prepared for the campaign under strict guidelines, though Covid-19 has already seen one game in Fylde’s division postponed this season because of positive tests.

Fylde are hoping they can keep on top of any issues at the Woodlands and prevent a possible backlog of fixtures later in the season.

Loney said: “There was a game called off the other week between Luctonians and Chester, so we’ve got to be spot on in everything we do.

“We’re managing it as best we can. We’re making sure we do regular testing and I think it’s still going to have an impact on the season.”

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