Article by Robbie Paulin…
We’re just about to get preparations started for our U19 2016 season this weekend so I wanted to take the time to reveal the new set up for the Highland Wildcats coaching staff for the upcoming season.
A lot of things are changing in 2016 and one big positive is that we will, for the first time ever, have a completely separate staff between U17 and U19. In previous seasons we have had to double up in some positions and found it to be really time consuming (not to mention exhausting) for the coaches.
My role in the Junior squad this year will be managing the team and also focusing on the individual development of players and the coaches. So I’d now like to congratulate James Hudson, who will be stepping into the role of head coach. I’m still going to be providing a lot of back up for him by taking on the vast majority of the admin and planning for the team (buses, funding, general admin, facility, registration, game day logistics etc) but I feel he is more than capable of taking on the role of head coach, running practices and making the important calls on gameday! I know he’s going to do a great job! James has been part of all of our Britbowl winning campaigns and also led the offense in the U19s last year to their first ever Scottish Championship. He recently passed his Level 2 BAFCA course and I’m confident he is ready to step into head coach.
I’m actually quite excited about being able to work more on the background operations but still keeping an active role in practice with the quarterbacks and also the individual goal setting and development with the players and staff.
We’ve got a lot of former players and coaches returning to the Junior staff as well, including Gary Davies, who was one of the original coaches of the organisation back in 2000 and was my offensive coordinator when I played Quarterback. Gary has also been involved in the Scotland Youth programme and will be taking charge of our offensive line at U19.
Craig Findlay will be making a return to help with offensive line and also coach the Defensive Line. Craig has seen success with the Wildcats as part of the Britbowl winning squad in 2011 and also went on to win two UK Championships with the University of Stirling Clansmen!
Also, joining us from the 2011 coaching staff is Liam MacKenzie, who has been with the Highland Wildcats since 2000. Liam will be heading up the Wildcats defense this year and will be taking his, near, 16 years of experience to the table.
Former Wildcats player, Shaun Matheson, will be involved in coaching too as well as two new assistant coaches, Tim Glews and Niall Martin. Tim has been a long time fan of the game and is now keen to get involved in his local side. Niall Martin played as part of the Scottish Championship squad last year and recently passed his BAFCA Level 1 and looking to get involved in coaching.
The Youth Highland Wildcats will be getting started shortly after the HACL in mid-March and sees a lot of new coaches stepping into various positions. I will be remaining as head coach along with Martin MacPherson as Development Coach. Chris Shaw will be stepping into Defensive Coordinator along with Haris Ryalls at Offensive Coordinator. I’m also really pleased that we will have Britbowl 2011 Champion Kyle Robertson joining us in the Spring Camp and throughout parts of the season. He always adds a massive boost of energy and a fresh eye to the campaign.
Many of the players that have been involved in the recent successful years will be passing on their knowledge and joining the coaching staff in 2016, including: Mark Pyper, Euan Crawford, Stephen McMeechan, Ally Gibson and Joshua Fox. I’ve been so impressed watching these guys coach during the HACL and really looking forward to working with them over the coming national season!
Ben Senior, who recently passed his BAFCA Level 1 course will also be joining our development staff this year for the Youth Wildcats as well as Daniel Woodley who works tirelessly behind the scenes at the Blitz on equipment and the facility itself. Daniel has passed his BAFCA Level 1 course a few years ago but this year has shown an interest in getting involved in coaching so this year will be working alongside our development … I’m hoping he’ll still be keen to keep up his other roles too as he does a lot to keep the club ticking over!
I’m really pleased with how the two staffs are coming together and looking forward to working with all of the new and old members! We will likely still be adding a few others over the season but as it stands I think we’ve got a group in place that can really push both teams forward and help them retain the success that they’ve seen in recent years.
Junior Coaching Staff
|Manager/Player & Coach Development||Robbie Paulin|
|Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator||James Hudson|
|Defensive Coordinator||Liam MacKenzie|
|Defensive Line Coach||Craig Findlay|
|Offensive Line Coach||Gary Davies|
|Defensive Back Coach||Shaun Matheson|
|Assistant Coach||Tim Glews|
|Assistant Coach||Niall Martin|
Youth Coaching Staff
|Head Coach||Robbie Paulin|
|Development Coach (Assistant HC)||Martin MacPherson|
|Offensive Coordinator||Haris Ryalls|
|Defensive Coordinator||Chris Shaw|
|Offensive Line Coach||Colin Hamilton|
|RB / LB Coach||Mark Pyper|
|Quarterback Coach||Euan Crawford|
|Defensive Line Coach||Stephen McMeechan|
|Development Assistant Coach||Daniel Woodley|
|Development Assistant Coach||Ally Gibson|
|Development Assistant Coach||Ben Senior|
|Development Assistant Coach||Joshua Fox|
Article by Robbie Paulin…