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Smallman sets out Shrewsbury rugby club vision

By Nick Elwell | Rugby | Published:

Dale Smallman has wasted no time planning for a bright future at Shrewsbury Rugby Club.

Dale Smallman.

Smallman has accepted the role of head coach at Sundorne Castle following the decision of Simon Evitts and Rich Pearce to step down after three years in joint-charge.

The appointment of the vastly experienced Smallman is something of a coup for the club and they will be hoping he can replicate the success he enjoyed during spells at Dudley Kingswinford and Bridgnorth.

And Smallman will stick to a similar blueprint to the ones he employed at his former clubs as he makes a return to club rugby following a two-year break.

“I stood down as director of rugby at Bridgnorth two years ago because I wanted to take a break,” he said.

“I haven’t coached a club for two seasons, although I have still been the North Midlands Under-18s coach.

“That gave me the chance to go on a few courses and to develop further as a coach.

“This opportunity came up and I am excited by it.

“I had a few conversations with Glyn Jones and Simon Evitts and went to watch them in the game against Tamworth recently.

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“The club has fantastic facilities and the committee should be commended for that.

“There is a real platform for the club to push on. I have put together a clear pathway for the colts through to the second team and then the senior side.

“It’s a three-year development plan.

“The aim is to make sure the players reach their full potential in a Shrewsbury shirt.”

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Bridgnorth-born Smallman took DK from level seven up to level four, where they lost in a play-off for a place in the step above.

At Bridgnorth, he engineered a similar rise through the pyramid from level seven to level five.

He also led both clubs to the Intermediate Cup final at Twickenham. Development was the key at both of those clubs and will be again at Shrewsbury.

“Mine is a developmental model,” added the 52-year-old. “It’s a bit more of a long-term approach, but you benefit further down the line.

“It is a model I have used before at DK and Bridgnorth and hopefully it will have an impact again.

“I am all about local lads playing for the local club and putting in a shift for the club and the badge.

“I have some experiences that I hope will help, but it’s all about the here and now. I will be judged on what goes on from now.

“Simon and Rich should be commended for the work they have done over the last few seasons.”

Smallman already has an inside track on the club due to his full-time job as a sports teacher with the Shrewsbury Colleges group.

“There is already a link there because as part of my job I coach a number of Shrewsbury’s colts,” he added.

Nick Elwell

By Nick Elwell
Grassroots Sports Editor

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