Rishworthians appoint Damian Ball as new coach
DAMIAN Ball is looking forward to a new challenge after being appointed head coach of Old Rishworthians RUFC.
DAMIAN Ball is looking forward to a new challenge after being appointed head coach of Old Rishworthians RUFC. Former Fax assistant boss Ball was appointed following former incumbent John Clough’s decision to step down earlier this month.
Rishworthians, whose history at their Copley base stretches back 45 years, wasted no time in filling the void and now Ball says pre-season training cannot come soon enough.
“I am very excited about the challenge and really looking forward to it,” enthused Ball, who took time out from the pressures of sport to concentrate on his family. “We had a daughter in January and my priority had to be to spend time with my family. “But the opportunity at Rishworthians came up and I feel now that the time is right to get back into the coaching cauldron.”
Ball admitted to having limited knowledge of the 15-a-side code, but feels that will not stand in the way of his ideas on how to drive Rishworthians forward. “I actually played in Yorkshire Three at Old Modernians with Damian Gibson so I do have an idea of the level of standard to expect,” added Ball. “I will need to rely on a few of the senior players to help me out with some of the technical issues, such as lineouts, but I don’t really see that being a problem. “There won’t be radical changes. I am looking to put a few different things in place such as making the club more professional and making Rishworthians a more attractive proposition for players who are looking to join a club.”
Ball is also looking forward to working with the Copley side’s growing junior section and looking to set the blocks in place for a dedicated link between the young players and the senior sides. The junior section has grown dramatically since its inception eight years ago with a number of the teams winning trophies at various festivals. There are currently 280 playing members with teams ranging from under sixes to under 17s. “The junior set up is incredible and it was one of the main reasons I joined if I am honest,” added Ball, who in his role as a schoolteacher has brought Brooksbank School’s rugby league teams to national prominence over the past few years. “There are over 30 coaches working with the juniors at all levels and that is fantastic to see. I work as a schoolteacher and have alot of experience at sport at that level. Part of my job will be to bridge the gap and make a direct link for the juniors to progress to open age rugby and that is an exciting challenge. “There is so much potential at the club. I think it is a sleeping giant to be honest.”
Ball will not set any targets at this stage except to say he is looking forward to working with the players and raising the profile of Old Rishworthians still further. Last season more than half the first team were young men from the junior section and the did well to consolidated a position in Yorkshire Three after a difficult 2010/2011 season in Yorkshire Two. The second team played regularly throughout the season taking part in the merit table. Next season the team will be strengthened by a number of players returning to the club after attending university. “There has been some great work done by the previous coaches so it will be a question of building on that and making sure the club moves forward,” said Ball.
“There is a players meeting on June 14 when I will get to meet everybody. I have already met half a dozen of the players and they are a great bunch so I am really looking forward to getting started. “I am relatively confident that I can do a good job for the club.”