1. Historical Perspective
Fraser has been involved with EKRFC since 2000. At that time, he was still playing for the Glasgow professional team, then known as Glasgow Caledonian Reds, and took up the post of South Lanarkshire Rugby Development Officer. He made only occasional appearances for EK, whenever his Caley Reds commitments allowed. EK were then in Premier 2.
Fraser was club captain in 2001/02 season (when the President was the svelte Malky Clark!). In 2002/3 Fraser was assistant coach to Craig Redpath and took on full coaching responsibilities himself in 2003/4, a position he held throughout until his retirement.
Fraser put his heart and soul in to coaching, and playing, East Kilbride. It’s often the case that people are not noticed until they have left. Watching EK, it is all too clear what we will miss – Fraser has consistently been EK’s best player throughout his tenure as coach.
This is confirmed by the fact that he was selected as the Supporters' Player of the Year, this year (2010-11 season). Not bad for a 41 year old. We will miss his last man covering and defensive tackles.
How best to describe Fraser? – huge drive, commitment, optimistic, skilful, tenacious, a referee! And of course, a deep love of rugby.
Fraser has a never say die attitude. He also has a fiery side to him, which made him a “friend” of many referees. This was part of why he was such a great player, but it also meant he occasionally let himself down, such was his competitiveness.
It is not clear how easy he is going to find not playing or coaching (beware, Mrs Stott!!). We will maintain his player registration to see how his “retirement” progresses. At age 41, Fraser still won a large number of Man of the Match awards this year, trying to lead his troops to stave off relegation.
What makes it all the more frustrating for Fraser is that when EK had all its players fit and well, we could challenge any team in National One.
That EK were relegated this year is largely due to the commitment (or lack of it) of some players and the poor fitness they had returning after the 13 week winter “break”. There have also been injuries and availability issues.
For much of the latter period of his coaching life, Fraser was trying to mould and develop a very young side. As a consequence, the side’s performances have been rather erratic, but this does not diminish Fraser’s efforts. He has always been willing to give youngsters a chance.
It’s sad that Fraser leaves us as we are relegated to National Two. But the challenge is clear for our players – train hard and regularly, give your all for the team and support your coach.
Although Fraser is retiring from playing, he will continue in his role as Rugby Development Officer and will maintain contact with EKRFC in discussions about our Partnership Agreement, where we are providing rugby coaching in East Kilbride primary and secondary schools.
EKRFC wishes Fraser (and Mrs Fraser) all the best in his playing retirement. Thanks for all your efforts.
June 2000- Fraser appointed as South Lanarkshire Rugby Development Officer
2001/2 – Fraser is captain of EKRFC. EK relegated from P2 at end of season.
2002/3 – Fraser is assistant coach, to Craig Redpath. EK finished 6th in Premier 3. Fraser was leading try scorer in P3 in Dec 2002.
2003/4 – Fraser appointed head coach, assisted by player/coach John Shaw. EK 9th in P3.
2004/5 – EK 6th in P3.
2005/6 – EK relegated from Premier 3.
2006/7 – EK 4th in National 1. Reached Bowl Final at Murrayfield, where lost 11-18 to Morgan Academy FP.
2007/8 – EK 5th (I think) in National 1
2008/9 – EK 9th in National 1
2009/10 – EK 5th in National 1
2010/11 – EK relegated to National 2