Blackpool RUFC is pleased to announce that ex coach Dave Stephenson has returned to the club on a full time basis, with ex Fylde prop forward Steve Ellis as his assistant coach. This is a massive coup for Blackpool Rugby Club. The club does however, hold huge regards for coaches Phil Raw and Heath George, who have done a sterling job over the past few seasons, in very difficult times for the club.
Blackpool Rugby Clubâ€™s rugby development officer, Paul Moran states â€˜Dave has a glittering career in the rugby industry, having played for Wigan Warriors Rugby League for over six years, and capped 13 by Great Britain.
This is Daveâ€™s second time at the club as a coach, he first joined Blackpool in 1998 and coached the club to 3 league titles within his 4 year coaching period. He then joined Fleetwood Rugby club, and managed to get them to their highest league position in North West 2. However, it is back to Blackpool he returns for a second crack at the whip.
Stephenson states â€˜It was where it all started for my coaching career at Blackpool, and for that I will always be grateful. When the club approached me about the coaching role, and after several weeks of thinking about it, it turned out to be an opportunity I couldnâ€™t resistâ€™. Dave also stated that â€˜it is important for myself, that players, supporters and members of Blackpool Rugby Club, especially with the 50th Anniversary coming next season, come back down and either support the club, or if able, put their boots back on. 50 years is a landmark for any club, and I want to make sure that the platforms are in place to celebrate another 50 years of this great clubâ€™.
Blackpoolâ€™s committee chaired by club Chairman John Boardman have assisted the club to pull all the stops out to secure Dave as the coach. The club had made drastic changes in recent times, none more so than the fantastic new club house that we now have. Mr Boardman also says that â€˜ this is another massive step in the rebuilding of Blackpool RUFC, and I can think of no better man at the helm than Dave, we now have a thriving junior section at the club, with many players about to make the transition to senior rugby, and under Daveâ€™s guidance, Iâ€™m sure they will flourishâ€™.
Paul Moran also states that, as Rugby Development Officer, it will be my job to assist Dave in what ever way I can, all I can say at the moment is that Blackpool RUFC are in final talks with a National League One team, to build links with, and create a North West Talent Identification system for young players. The deal will also result in the loaning of players to Blackpool, players of a good standard that will no doubt bolster the senior squad.