It’s all change on the coaching front down at Peterborough Rugby Club.
The Fengate club have appointed a new head coach and a new player/coach for the 2018-2019 season.
Phil Powell comes in as the new head coach to take over from Lee Adamson, who has been offered a new coaching role at the club, while Sam Crooks returns to his roots as player/coach to replace Nico Steenkamp, who can’t fulfil the player part of that job any more due to injury.
Adamson, who got Borough promoted to Midlands Division One during his four-years at the helm, has moved into a role which will oversee all areas of coaching and playing throughout the club.
This will involve linking together the senior and age grade sections, giving continuity throughout the club.
Powell arrives with bags of coaching experience having worked with Bedford Blues Academy, Olney and Northampton Saints Under 18s. He is currently rugby programme manager at Tresham College and head coach for the Midlands Under 18 age group.
He said: “I am delighted to have joined a club which shows so much promise as a whole club.
“I am a very driven coach and have my aspirations. I strongly feel with what we have in place at Peterborough we have a great opportunity to build on what has already been achieved and take this club to the next level.
“My real focus for the club is to be the most dominant club in Peterborough with a real focus on home developed players with so many players looking to be part of the journey.
“I feel it is the right time to be part of this incredible club. I’m excited to get going and have the players push me as much as I can push them.”
The new coach has moved quickly to appoint a new player/coach in the shape of former first team captain Crooks.
Crooks has spent the last two seasons with the successful Peterborough Lions squad, but sees this as a natural progression into a route to develop a coaching career.
As well as helping in all aspects of coaching, Crooks will be a valuable addition to Borough’s senior playing squad.
Lions chief Andy Moore said: “Now we’ve gone up to the National League it seems stange that Sam has decided to drop down two levels to play his rugby.
“We understood it was because of all the extra travelling involved and he has a young family.
“Best of luck to him in his new role. He served us well and will always be welcome back at the Lions.”
Borough will be looking to build on their success of last season when the first team finished mid-table on their return to Midlands Division One and the second team won both their merit table and county cup.
The club’s Academy side also reached the semi-final of the county cup and Borough Ladies gained promotion.
Training starts next Tuesday (June 26) at 7pm at ‘Fortress Fengate’ and the sessions are open to players of all ages and abilities. The club’s contact details can be obtained by contacting www.prufc.com
The first XV kick off on Saturday September 1 with a home match against Northampton Old Scouts.
At the club’s recent annual awards evening, Zak McClure was a popular winner of Player of The year. Players Player went to Michael Bean, while Most Improved Player was shared between Scott Mills and Todd Crooks.
The Ladies voted Meagan Hillengas as Best New Player and Hannah Joyce as Most Improved Player.