Fylde RFC is delighted to announce the appointment of Dan Birchall as the Club's new full-time Rugby Development Coach. The role is responsible for leading on rugby development throughout the Club with particular focus on Juniors, Colts and the transition to adult rugby. His job is to strengthen playing capacity and performance through the delivery of high quality coaching with targeted groups of players. He'll also be mentoring & supporting existing and potential voluntary club coaches and referees.
Dan's other main priority will be to develop the club’s established Community Rugby Programme which aims to increase the number of players taking up the sport, developing coaching standards and to promote the Club and the game in the local area. To do this Dan will be undertaking targeted coaching in primary & secondary schools, colleges, universities and other community settings. This will cover all variants of the game – touch, tag, 7s & 15 a-side - to new young players and supporting their move into club rugby.
Fylde's Chairman of Rugby Dave Young said: “We looked long and hard for a quality candidate for this very important post and received applications from all over the UK and abroad. After a rigorous selection process, the outstanding applicant was one of our own 1st team squad players, Dan Birchall. He's been coaching for four years part-time and for six months on a full-time basis.
“He has the ideal mix of coaching and business skills to take on this role at a critical time for the Club & rugby more generally as we approach the Rugby World Cup in 2015 & the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in which 7s rugby will be included for the first time. Dan will be building on the fine coaching work of his most recent predecessors Peter Altham & Scott Barrow. We are very grateful for the support of the RFU's Stuart Urquhart in this process as well as to the staff and students of AKS who helped us in the interviews.”
Dan Birchall said! “I'm excited to take up this new challenge which has tremendous potential to help develop the Club, its players and to spread the message about rugby in the local community. I hope to make a lasting impression by increasing participation and enthusing young people about our great sport.”
Pictured below: Chairman of Rugby Dave Young congratulates Dan Birchall.
Apart from his coaching activities, Dan Birchall is a Fylde 1st team squad member who moved to the Woodlands in the summer of 2012 after spells at Sale Sharks and in the National Leagues with Manchester & Sedgley Tigers. The loosehead prop grew up in Lancaster and was a junior with the Vale of Lune club as well as a star at Lancaster Royal Grammar School. He has made representative appearances for Lancashire & England at U'16s & U'19s level and has been a regular in the Lancashire Senior squad in the last three seasons.
Dan had an outstanding first season with Fylde, being the only 'ever present' member of the squad through that campaign and selected by the squad as 'Players' Player of the Season' at the end of season awards ceremony. He has made a total of 44 Fylde 1st team appearances to date, has scored six tries including one against Hull Ionians last Saturday at the Woodlands.