Rugby Union: Head coach Craig Ratford leaves London Two North East side Old Cooperians

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:29 20 December 2017

Old Cooperians huddle together earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Old Cooperians huddle together earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Old Cooperians will head into 2018 under new management after head coach Craig Ratford decided to leave the club.

Ratford had been with the club since the 2015/16 season, in which they won promotion from London Three North East, claiming the title in the process.

During the following campaign, Ratford took on the responsibility of coaching the backs as Coops finished sixth on their first season back in London Two North East.

At the beginning of the current term, Ratford stepped up the post of head coach and got off to a fine start, with Coops winning their first two games of the season.

Since then, though, the St Mary’s Lane outfit have been unable to record another success in London Two North East, a run that currently stands at 10 matches.

The latest setback for Coops came on Saturday when they went down at home to Woodford, losing 24-20 in a match that saw the visitors climb off the last place.

Following the defeat, Ratford took the decision to stand down as head coach of Coops and has opted to leave the club altogether.

The former head coach says it was not an easy decision to make to leave Coops, but says he will look back on his time with the club fondly.

“Coaching and playing for Old Coops for the last two years has been been something I have been proud to have been able to do,” he said.

“This wasn’t an easy decision to make. The club and ultimately the players there are a special group.

“The club has come so far over the last few years and I know that it will continue grow even when I am gone.”

With no game now until January 6, whoever replaces Ratford as head coach of Coops will have a chance to work with the players.

When the St Mary’s Lane club do return to action, they make the trip to Harlow, who have done well since winning promotion from London Three North East last term.

The new man at the helm will hope to get off to a winning start in that match with Coops.

And the St Mary’s Lane club will hope that after a tough end to 2017, there is new hope in the New Year.

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