11:00AM, Friday 14 August 2020
Myke Parrott has said he’s excited and honoured to be on an ‘awesome journey’ with Maidenhead RFC after being appointed the club’s new director of rugby.
Speaking this week the former captain, who retired from the playing side of the game at the end of last season, said he was passionate about making everyone - players, supporters and board members – realise the club’s ambition.
Parrott was voted in as director of rugby following a recent zoom call AGM and said this week the club’s potential is huge and he’s keen to tap into that over the coming years.
“I’m really excited and honoured that I’m going to be able to continue my time with Maids and be part of this awesome journey that we’re on,” he said. “I’m really passionate about helping people realise our ambition, but to do that we need to change our mindset.
“Traditionally, we’ve been near the top of level six and happy to get to level five, and it almost feels like at times we’ve been happy to plod along there. Well actually, I think we’ve got the potential to do far better than that.
“Our youth system is pretty much unrivalled and there are so many commercial opportunities in the town that I’d like us to tap into more. We’ve also got some old boys that I think we should be getting back involved as they have lots of different skills.
“I really want to be able to say to the players ‘we’re going to give this a really good dig. We’re going to get ourselves up to level four and then we’ll have another look at things and try to kick on again. We’re going to set out our stall and try to be as good as we possibly can be.”
With Steve Bough as chairman and the right board in place Parrott believes they’ve got the right team in place to really push the club on in the coming years. He said Maids were the first non pro club in the country to put protocols in place to enable the return of socially distant training for players. And, with the RFU having announced this weekend that clubs can now move into phase C on the roadmap for the return of the game, he says they’re ready once again to take advantage of that straight away.
“Steve has been awesome, especially with all the return to training stuff,” he said. “He’s led the way, not just at Maids but at a national level. I think we were the first non pro club back in training and that’s because of all the protocols he’s put in place. He wrote everything up and I know a lot of other clubs have used what he’s written as a blueprint. And he’s done that for the next stage as well.
“We’re at stage C now, which was announced at the weekend, and that means we can move to 10vs10 touch training, which is brilliant. It’s been tough for the past few weeks being limited to groups of five and with social distancing there’s only so much you can do to keep the boys interested.
“Fair play to them they’ve kept on coming and working hard, but obviously participation wasn’t as high as it could have been because some of the lads don’t want to come and just do fitness. Now we can move on to more game play orientated stuff and I know the boys are really buzzing to get going with that this week. It means we can start to forge decent plans now.”
Parrott added that the move into phase C means the club can start looking at ways to bring supporters back to the club and get them involved again.
“For the players you can start looking at structures and it’s a far more fun way of getting your fitness, but on the other side of it, we can look to start opening things up to supporters as well.
“We might do a Saturday session here and have a little touch tournament. We could get the supporters down and get the bar open again and get some revenue coming in again. It’s a really positive move and we’re looking to maximise it as much as we can.”
The move to phase C is another step along the road to full-contact league matches, but – like head coach David Mobbs-Smith warned only last week – that could still be many months away. Parrott said he was gutted the league season was cut short in March, with Maids still in the hunt for promotion, and it’s frustrating the club’s move to the London & South East Premier Division is being delayed by COVID-19. But he said the players are itching to get back and have another crack at promotion.
“The lads want to get out there and give it a shot because we do have ambitions of playing at level four,” he said. “And we want to have a real crack at this new and exciting league. But before we can get to stage F, we’ve got to be in stage E for a month, which is contact interclub stuff. But I know if you told the players they had a game tomorrow they’d be well up for it. We’ve just got to be patient. A lot of clubs are in the same position and we’ve just got to wait to get over this COVID stuff and then we’ll get out there and do what we do best.
“The numbers are looking good for training which is great. We can start to do some more game play focused stuff instead of fitness at last.”
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