Holmes is new Director of Rugby

Date: 01 June 2015

Following Gareth Dyer’s decision to step down as Director of Rugby, the club is pleased to confirm that current forwards-player coach Alan Holmes will be taking up the position for the 2015/16 season.

Holmes joined the club in November 2011 from local neighbours Fylde and has been a regular in the front row ever since, making 56 appearances at 1st XV level. For the past two seasons Alan has also taken on the role of Forwards Coach and has helped shape the Hoppers forwards into one of the most competetive packs in the league.

Preston Grasshoppers 2nds 32 - 6 Sedgley Tigers January 17,_16114122138_l

Holmes (2nd right) is congratulated by (L-R) Wilkinson, Ward and Walker in 2nd XV action against Sedgley

Holmes was quick to thank his predecessor Dyer, saying “Thank you to Gareth for his hard work during his time as Director of Rugby. The club has seen great success in his time at first team and more recently second team level. This is due to a clear focus on player development and a squad ethos which is not always apparent in national league squads. The approach has payed dividends in the senior squad, creating more strength in depth and a very successful second team. Through out the season we have seen 44 players represent the first team and a steady flow of young colts move into the second and third teams. I find this exciting moving forward. Preston Grasshoppers has a mini junior section that is unrivalled in the North West, maybe even the North and as such produces a wealth of talent. It is important that we continue to enhance this talent and strengthen further the support networks to develop the pathways for young local players. Im sure that this will pay off for us in the seasons to come.”

Reflecting on last season and looking forward to next Holmes commented “We have been working hard to keep the core of the squad and add experience in key positions. Although our league position was not as high as we would like (2014/15), we have a young squad of hard working players. This group have learned a great deal from the experience and this could be seen in the contol and game managment in the final two games of the season.”

He added “I feel that we have created a great structure behind the scenes with Mark Taylor leading player injury and rehabilitation supported by Dave Perry leading the players conditioning and supporting Mark and the coaching staff to get injured players back to fitness. This has had a real impact last season and will continue to work for us in to next year. We have got a wealth of talent within the coaching staff with Garth Dew at head coach and the addition of Olly Viney to run the backs.”

Finishing in optimistic mood Alan said “I am excited about next season and the future of rugby at Preston Grasshoppers. Not only in the Mini/Juniors and the first team squad, but in a time where many clubs are dropping the number of senior teams, Hoppers continue to put out six senior teams along with a thriving womens section. So make sure you get behind us this season and I look forward to seeing you on the side lines supporting this fantastic club.”

We wish Alan and his coaching team great success next season.

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