Timing was key to Alex Edmonstone being appointed assistant manager at Hamilton Rugby Club.
‘Eck’ was looking for a sports development career while he was in a developmental post at Scottish Rugby when he got the call from Kenny Brown, and was delighted to join up at Laigh Bent.
However, Edmonstone says he wouldn’t just have taken any club job to stay involved in the sport, and Hamilton met a strict criteria list.
He explained: “The timing of me leaving Scottish Rugby and taking up the position at Hamilton was more of chance, to be honest.”
“I was looking to move career within sports development, but still stay involved in rugby, so it made sense that I wanted to be involved in coaching.”
“It was through Kenny Brown, who I had worked with previously, asking if I was interested in coming in and getting involved with Hamilton.”
“I knew the club well through dealings in my Scottish Rugby role, so it was an easy choice for me to say ‘yes’.”
“It’s a great rugby club with a fantastic youth section, it’s family-orientated, and with a good senior set-up, so it was good timing, as far as I was concerned.”
“I would only want to coach somewhere where I liked the set-up, where I liked the people involved.”
“For me, there’s the coaching side of it, but also the family-oriented side of the club, the fact there’s so much going on, and that’s what I want to be involved in.”
“For me it’s not just coaching the senior men’s team – it’s being involved with the club from top to bottom, so that’s what I’m looking for.”
Like Brown, Alex wants the players at Hamilton to enjoy their rugby, and he’s pleased to be back working with him.
He said: “I’ve worked with Kenny before, we worked together at Scottish Rugby.
“He was regional manager and I was in charge of coach education in the west. In a coaching capacity we both coached the Glasgow Under-18s two or three years ago.”
“It was great, I loved it, and he’s a fantastic coach. He’s a good guy, he’s honest, and that’s one of the things I was looking for.”
“I wanted someone I could have a good working relationship with, but who I could be honest with as well, and could have good conversations with about how to make things better.”
“For me, I want the boys to enjoy playing rugby, I want them to have fun.”
“We haven’t as yet set any goals for what that, with regards to league placement etc, means.”
“We will have conversations with the club, with myself and Kenny over the next few weeks, and with the players to see what they want to do, and where they think they should be finishing.”
“But the important thing for me in my coaching philosophy is that all players have fun, all players get an opportunity to develop, and all players are able to achieve their potential. Those are the things that are my goals, and if we’re doing that as a club, we’ll do well.”
“Where we’ll finish we’ll see. There’s only some things we can influence, but if the players are all enjoying it and they’re improving, then we’ll finish where we finish.”
Edmonstone is a World Rugby master trainer, meaning he tutors coaches at all levels of the sport.
He explained: “World Rugby run lots of coaching workshops around the world, so effectively being a master trainer means I work with them to train up other people to deliver courses. That’s through my involvement with Scottish Rugby.”
“My previous role in Scottish Rugby was in training and education. I started as head coach development officer up in Aberdeen, so I’ve always had a keen interest in developing coaches as well as players.
“So, as part of that, I’m a World Rugby master trainer, which just allows me to develop other people to develop coaches.”
*Article by Andy McGilvray
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