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New Director of Rugby hopes to herald successful era

PUBLISHED: 11:15 20 May 2016

Action from a derby clash between Old Cooperians and Upminster (pic: Donald Hine)

Action from a derby clash between Old Cooperians and Upminster (pic: Donald Hine)

Archant

Murphy ready to lay down law at Upminster

New Upminster director of rugby Scott Murphy is confident his appointment will herald the start of a new successful era at the club.

Murphy, who played for the club as a youngster, will take up the newly-created position at the London League outfit on June 1.

And after narrowly avoiding a return to the Essex League last season, the former Cambridge coach hopes his arrival sparks an upturn in fortunes.

“The aim is to be successful. We’re keeping the same first-team coaches as last season, but they will be supplemented by others,” said Murphy.

“We will also be calling on guest coaches to come in and take a session. If we want to be successful, we can’t be a closed shop. We want people to come in.

“If we want to build success, we have to build a support network around the players. If we can get it right off the field, hopefully that will transfer to the squad.

“We have a great social side to the club, which is something we want to keep and build upon.

“We want the club to be a fun place where the players want to stay after games and we want to get the families involved too.”

Murphy already has grand plans for the Hall Lane club, with the first and second team squads set to merge and selection for both sides based on training performances next season.

But he is also keen to ensure the club build a better pathway for progression from their youth section to the first XV.

It has been a problem that has plagued Upminster for many years, perhaps typified by last season as Old Cooperians marched their way to the title in London Three North East with a host of players who spent their teenage years turning out for Upminster.

Murphy, though, believes he can arrest that trend, keeping the best young players at Upminster as he looks to build success.

“We have one of the biggest mini-sections in the county and we need to bridge the gap between that and the senior team,” he added.

“In my full-time job, I look after the rugby at Hall Mead School and also go out into primary schools in the local area.

“There’s around 10 schools that I go into in Upminster and Cranham delivering coaching, so hopefully that can help the club progress.”

In addition to providing rugby coaching for local youngsters, Murphy has been involved on the coaching staff with Cambridge and Chingford in recent seasons.

He believes his experience with those clubs can help Upminster progress and feels that if they get things right, there could be a few promotions in the offing, adding: “In the next five years, we’re aiming for two promotions, which would take us up to London One which is a level this club has never been at.

“If we get it right off the pitch with the right suppport network and ensuring there is a happy 
environment at the club, we can push for promotion this year.

“We are also keen to build more relationships in the local community, which will require a lot of dedication, but will have a positive impact on the team.”

*Old Cooperians are on the lookout for a new head coach for their seconds ahead of the new season.

The club return to pre-season training on June 1 and anyone who is interested in joining the club is welcome to attend the first session.

More information for both the coaching position and joining Old Cooperians can be found online at pitchero.com/clubs/oldcooperians or by sending an email to the club at oldcooperians@gmail.com.

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