2024-25 Coaching structure confirmed

Date: 06 May 2024

We managed to catch up with Hoppers Chairman of Rugby, Bill Bailey, this week to talk to him about the new coaching set up he has put in place for the 1st XV.

Dan Irwin, taking over as Head Coach

Joining Head Coach Dan Orwin will be Danny Maher and Greg Smith. Both will be well known to the Hoppers faithful. Danny has enjoyed an outstanding career at hooker, playing most lately for Sedgley Tigers in Nat 1. Greg has been the premier fly half in Nat 2 with Fylde and both bring a wealth of experience to the new set up.

Greg Smith, taken from the Blackpool Gazette

Having been in talks with Danny and Greg for several weeks it is good to finally announce their impending arrival at Lightfoot Green and Dan Orwin commented “I’m really pleased that Danny and Greg have joined us. I’ve known them both for a long time and they are great characters. Both will have a huge impact on our environment on and off the pitch. The planning for next season is well underway”

Danny Maher, taken from the Bury Times

In confirming the news, Bill had this to say “It is great to have the new coaching team in place finally and I can’t wait to work with them over the coming season. When players/coaches of the calibre Danny and Greg possess become available it is important to work quickly to establish whether they can fit into the ethos of our club. They are rugby chaps who understand the importance of carrying on the Hoppers legacy. Danny will coach the forwards and defensive patterns. Greg will be player coach with responsibility for the backline and our attacking prowess. Both have strong ideas on how we can build on the great work of the last 2 years.

I am also delighted to announce that we have retained the services of Alan Haworth. Alan has done a magnificent job with the 2nd XV over the last couple of years and now will make the step up to a hybrid role as manager/assistant 1st XV coach. A good reward for a Hoppers man! We have a couple of people in mind to take on the role that Alan vacates with the 2’s and I am hopeful we can make an announcement in due course.

Alan Haworth

Further to that, Tyler Spence has agreed to continue his playing stint with us and couple that with the strength and conditioning role. The coaching team is completed by Karl Ince who will continue his assistant duties. It has been a very busy few weeks at the club with Craig Steel and I working very closely together again on the squad make up and contract negotiations have been very successful. We are now able to look at identifying targets to improve the playing squad and make us a stronger proposition for the coming season. Look out for squad news in the coming weeks but rest assured that we along with the coaches are happy with the work concluded so far, and excited by some of the players we are talking to”.

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