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Weekly Update from Chief Executive Officer, Lance Bradley

Club

3 July 2020

Tim Rogers

Lance Bradley
Lance Bradley (c) Gloucester Rugby

Weekly Update | 3 July

Hello and welcome to this week’s update.

It’s been a good week at Kingsholm and Hartpury this week. The players have continued their ‘stage 1’ training, as we progress toward our first game in the resumed 2019/20 season, which we hope will take place on August 15th.

There are five stages of training to go through before we’ll be ready to play, and we move on to ‘stage 2’ next week. You may have seen some of the photos we’ve posted of training over the last couple of weeks. It’s fair to say that everyone is buzzing to be back, and looking forward to what really counts – playing again. I’m sure you’re looking forward to that as much as we all are.

We still don’t have confirmation about what the arrangements will be for games once they’re resumed. We hope to be able to stage our home games at Kingsholm, but we’re still unsure about whether we will be able to allow crowds in. We hope that with bars and restaurants opening this weekend, albeit with certain restrictions, that this may offer some hope that we will be able to do that too. You may also have read that some football clubs have said they are hoping to be able to allow crowds back in September, so if that were to be the case then that would provide some hope that we could do the same.

Sorry I can’t be more specific about this, but we have to await direction from PRL, who are liaising with the Government, on these matters.

The big news this week, of course, was our announcement that George Skivington is our new Head Coach, and that Alex Brown is promoted to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer.

Today is officially George’s first day in his new role, but you may have seen from some of our social media posts and other communications that he’s been around and about, meeting his new team and seeing what’s going on. As I’ve said before, we had a huge number of candidates for our Head Coach role, and George was the clear stand-out candidate. We’re absolutely delighted that he’s joined us.

George and I did some radio and TV interviews on Monday, where we talked about the need to strengthen the squad in one or two places, and George and Alex have been discussing that in some detail this week. We will keep you informed once we have any confirmed news.

We have also been doing some other interviews, including one with Sam Roberts for Rugby Pass, which you can read here. If you’ve not seen it yet you may well find it interesting. Given that it’s straight from the horses’ mouths it’s certainly a lot more accurate than much of the speculation and nonsense that’s been written and talked about over the last few weeks.

I’ve also done an interview for this weekend’s The Rugby Paper, and for the Flats and Shanks podcast which is due to be released on Monday.

While George has, understandably, got all the attention this week, it would be remiss of me not to mention Alex Brown here.

Alex not only played nearly 250 times for our Club, but then served with distinction as the Rugby Operations Manager before becoming Commercial Director in October last year. He’s been instrumental in helping steer our Club through the incredibly challenging times we’ve faced during the Covid-19 lockdown, and it was a real pleasure to be able to promote him to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer.

In this position he will be taking on some of the duties formerly performed by the Director of Rugby, including recruitment and regulatory issues, so that George is free to concentrate on our rugby – for which he is solely responsible.

As we move forward we will be sitting down to go through the details of how we see our Club operating, from our recruitment plans for our Academy – making sure we have the best possible operation there so that we make the most of the considerable local talent around us – through how we transition the best Academy players into the first team squad once they’re ready to do so. In particular we will be looking at how we make sure that talented youngsters can see the pathway before them, so that if they’re good enough then they know what the future holds for them at our Club.

We already have some great people working in our Academy, but in the coming weeks we will be looking at how we further strengthen that team.

We are also finalizing our plans for the coaching set up under George, and for major projects like our new training facilities.

It’s an exciting time at Gloucester Rugby, and we look forward to sharing more of our plans with you just as soon as we can.

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