Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

All Change at Tynedale to Help Club Learn from Relegation

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

All Change at Tynedale to Help Club Learn from Relegation

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith Sports writer Twitter: @markismith50

CHIEF executive Neil Foster admits relegation has been a humbling experience for Tynedale - one they are determined to learn from.

Dropping down for the first time since the introduction of leagues in 1987, a season in National Two North awaits a club with new men in key positions.

"We have examined what has gone on and the changes we have made are not just a consequence of our relegation," said Foster, who takes over from Douglas Hamilton in the wake of their exit from National One.

"It is more the way the club has evolved over the last few seasons, and there was a feeling we needed to refocus. A lot of that has come through management change, and bringing in a rugby committee is probably the biggest plus with that.

"Rather than a group of guys having a general meeting once a month, we will have a meeting with a head of rugby, coaching co-ordinator, medical representative and further representatives from players, youth and girls. It will manage the whole process, mirroring what we do on the commercial and general club management side."

Hamilton was not the only departure, with long-time chairman of rugby John Shotton and head coach Tom Borthwick also stepping down. Foster said: "It has been understandably tough replacing guys of that calibre and experience.

"Douglas's departure was almost inevitable at 77, and after a great stint with the club. He has been doing what he does for more than 50 years, and while he endorses what we are doing, he just felt it was right to step away at this time.

"In Tom's case he might have gone if we had not been relegated, but didn't want to be seen to be leaving a sinking ship. With the other management changes, he just felt it might be an opportune moment to move on, and in John's case, it leaves a cavernous hole given everything he did for the club.

"Andy Buist's arrival as head of senior rugby has filled a good part of that, and we are getting there. I have been genuinely taken aback by how many people have come to us voluntarily and asked if there is anything they can do. Even in the interim, I have had a huge amount of help, which has been a relief. …

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