The appointment of Michael Lough as the new PGRFC Head Coach has left a vacancy within the coaching set up with Lough formerly being in charge of the clubs 2nd XV. Last season the 2nd XV had a very successful season ending with them being Champions of the Bateman Premier Division. To ensure that the 2nd XV builds on the success of last season and continues to benefit from a dedicated coaching team, we are delighted to announce the appointment of John Young as 2nd XV Head Coach. Young, who is a former Hoppers player, returns to the club from Sedgley Park where he was assisting with the coaching of their 2nd string. He will be assisted by senior player Cameron Berry whilst the team will continue to be managed by club stalwart Adrian Jebb.
Young made 38 1st XV league appearances for PGRFC as a player spread over three spells. A product of Hutton GS, he joined the club as a junior player and progressed through the age groups into the Colts section. From the Colts he was fast tracked into the 1st XV squad and made his debut in a friendly at Hull Ionians in the 1997/98 season. After a season with Blackburn he then moved to Sedgley Park where he spent the next three seasons before returning for a spell at Lightfoot Green in 2002/03. Work commitments saw him relocate to the Manchester area where he returned to Sedgley but an injury crisis in the 2009/10 season saw Yong return for a third spell at Hoppers on loan.
He has been heavily involved with the Anti-Assassins for a number of years and still pulls on the boots to participate in their invitational fixtures. At the end of last season two young Hoppers in the form of Lewis Allen and Alex Austin featured for the AA’s in their game with Sale FC to celebrate the Heywood Road clubs 150th Anniversary. Young will continue to be heavily involved in the AA’s set up and is hopeful that more young players can be persuaded to take the opportunity to play in their fixtures.
Speaking on his appointment, Director of Rugby Gareth Dyer said “I’m delighted that John has agreed to take on the important role of 2nd XV Head Coach. As a long term Hopper he understands how the club operates and the importance we place on our 2nd XV set up. John is keen to develop himself as a coach and work with our existing coaches to gain the benefit of their experience. He is taking his RFU coaching badges and is already involved in our pre-season preparations. As we have demonstrated with the appointment of Michael Lough, we are keen to develop coaches from within. If we can do this then the club should continue to have stability which I believe is important if we are to continue to take the club forward”.
Following his appointment John Young commented “After deciding to finally hang up the boots and concentrate on coaching it was an easy choice to come back to Hoppers and look to continue the excellent work put in place by Michael and the coaching team. I have always had a soft spot for what is my “home town” club and, after seeing them in action at first hand over the last couple of seasons, I am looking forward to working with the exciting young players coming through the ranks as well as learning from the likes of Michael, Alan Holmes and Karl Fitzpatrick”.
Young will get a quick reintroduction to the Sedgley club when he takes the defending champions to Park Lane for their opening league fixture on Saturday 1st September.