I can’t be too disappointed with Macclesfield Blues’ results, given where we’ve come from.
What’s it like being the Head Coach at Macclesfield Blues? Is it more difficult stepping into the role mid-season? How do you cope with the pressures and the expectations of management and the Priory Park crowd? Those were the questions we put to Blues Interim Head Coach, Marshall Gadd, this week. Here’s what he had to say.
How have you found the transition from Forwards Coach to Head Coach at Macclesfield Blues?
“Obviously when resources are cut, it’s always going to be a tough proposition. However, I don’t really see it as a step up from Forwards Coach to Head Coach; it’s just that I’m now stepping in to fill the role and trying to do the job as best I can. When Giles[Heagerty] was here, he coached the attack and the backs, where I coached the defence and the forwards. Now I’m coaching both and trying to do my best. Our resources are tight, so we’ve had to adapt accordingly. What this means in practice is that my coaching time with the forwards has been cut, so I can spend some of my time coaching the backs.”
Are you now having to do both roles alone?
“Well, yes, to a large extent, but I’ve tried to encourage a couple of the senior players to get involved and take a little bit of responsibility. Hopefully that will take some of the pressure off me, and also give the players another perspective.”
Has any part of the transition to Head Coach difficult?
“I wouldn’t say difficult. I think all forms of rugby coaching, whether that’s the forwards or the backs, is relatively simple. I suppose the only difference I’m finding by doing both roles is that there’s more pressure on me to get results. Now I’m directly in the firing line, so I know there’s an expectation that I make good decisions in areas like selection policy and game-planning. I don’t mind having the responsibility at the end of the day, but I’m new to this so have found it strange if I’m honest.”
How do you feel you’ve adapted to the new role, and are you satisfied with the results the Blues have managed to clock up so far?
“As a coach you always want to win, so naturally I was happy for the first few weeks of my stint, when we managed to win 4 out of 5 games. I’ve been more disappointed about what’s happened recently, but I think overall things seem to be going OK. Although I would ideally like to have won all the games where I’ve been in charge, I can’t be too disappointed, given where we’ve come from.”
Is the role of Head Coach something you would want to aspire to on a permanent basis at Macclesfield Blues or any other club?
“It does appeal to me, as long as there are sufficient resources to do the job justice. If I could get the input of a backs coach and some help with the forwards, then that would help to take off some of the pressure. Trying to do everything on your own is hard going: It’s too much work and too much strain. It’s difficult trying to put in 30 hours a week into the rugby, then watching the analysis stuff whilst holding down a full-time job and a family life. But, if we can find the resources to recruit some extra help, then I’d be more than happy to continue in the job in the future.”