Last week we announced the appointment of Phill Mills as our new Community Rugby Coach.
In the article we gave some of Phill’s coaching background and promised an interview with the man charged with taking community rugby at Preston Grasshoppers forward to the next level. Below we ask Phill some questions about his vision for the role and what he hopes to bring.
PGRFC: What will the role involve?
PM: The role will involve making strong links with Universities and Colleges and bringing rugby into the community of Preston. I will be delivering sessions to primary and secondary schools to try and show junior players that rugby is a fun and enjoyable sport and that children have a local rugby club that they can go to and make new friends, join the rugby community and also learn new skills. There will also be the rugby camps that are run for children who want to enjoy days of rugby and other sports related to rugby. There is one coming up at the end of July that I am looking forward to.
What will you be looking to bring to the Community Coach role?
I want to improve participation in rugby and show that rugby can be enjoyed by a range of ages and there are plenty of teams that will welcome players and show them that rugby is a family sport. I want to be seen as not just a player but as a coach so that anyone who is interested in coming down to Preston Grasshoppers to play can always come and approach me and I will show them that it is a great environment.
How excited are you to start?
I cannot wait to start and give back to the Preston community that has helped me develop as a rugby player. I am looking forward to meeting the Mini and Junior section when they start the new season and meeting the Colts coming through the club. The summer camps are approaching and I am really keen to create a fun and enjoyable environment.
Who are your coaching inspirations?
I respect coaches in sport as there is a lot that comes with coaching, including player managing, tactics and so on. My coaching inspiration has to be Stuart Lancaster. Since he has been in charge he has changed the international side and brought a young side together effectively and I believe that they have a really good chance at the rugby World Cup.
As a coach I believe that all young players need to be given chances as well as the more experienced players, having the right mix of players will create a winning team.
What are your predictions for Hoppers in the coming season?
I believe that Preston Grasshoppers has the ability and potential to go far as a rugby team. Since being at the club I have seen that it is a very professional club in the way that everything is run but they also treat players and coaches as one big family and everyone buys in. I believe that if all players buy in to this season we can get promoted. I know we didn’t have the best of seasons last year but I believe we can turn it round and finish in the top three.
The Juniors have had a lot of success in the past and it shows with the amount of young players that have stepped up into the first team over the past few seasons. I believe this will carry on and we will continue to show that Preston is a great club.
Everyone at Preston Grasshoppers wishes Phill every success in his new role.