We caught up with Director of Rugby, Andrew Bird to find out a little bit more about ‘The Bach’
Ground: Bradwall Road
League: 1st XV play in National Midlands (National 3)
Sharklinks: There’s been a number of players in the modern era that have been developed in the Mini and Junior section at ‘The Bach’ and have gone on to represent the Sharks. In the early 2000’s there were the likes of Tom Holmes and James Gaskell who broke into the Sharks Senior squad. Ewan Ashman, also a product of the Bach’s mini and juniors, made his mark on the club in his debut season and has gone on to have a weekend he’ll never forget by scoring the winning try on debut against Australia! However, the most famous Shark to have been made in the Bach is Will Cliff, a man who has gone on to represent the club over 200 times. Cliffy has been an ever present in the Sharks Senior squads since breaking into the team in 2007 and is regularly back at the club coaching the youngsters or having a beer with the Senior squad.
Unsung Hero: We’re really fortunate to have so many volunteers at the club, we worked out that roughly 35,000 hours of volunteering is completed across the club whether that be coaching, organising events, running events etc. – as I said, very fortunate! If I was to highlight a few people then there’s Rob Davenport our M&J Chairman who puts in a huge amount of time working with the coaches right from the Under 6’s through to the Senior Colts. Then there’s the likes of Lisa Hill who has the thankless task of overseeing all our safeguarding at the club and David Burnand who drives our brand, marketing and social media which has made a huge difference.
Favourite Sharks Moment: There’s been many a trip to watch Sale Sharks with the club, both Home & Away. One that sticks in the memory is our trip to watch Sharks take on Bath in 2017 where we had coaches at the time Rob Webber and Byron McGuigan playing and Cliffy even crossed for a Try – that was a special day for all that came from the club. On a personal note, I have spent a lot of time coaching within the academy, so best memories are Monday nights at Carrington, Wellington Festivals with the likes of Quirke, Curtis & Roebuck and coaches chats with Noel, Spraggy et.al.
Club Goals: The biggest aim and something we take a lot of pride in is being the cornerstone of the community, making sure everyone feels welcome to the club. So by that we want everyone who comes into interaction with the club has a positive experience, whether that be player development, spectators who come to watch, social members who like a drink in the bar or we’ll go as far as the opposition, we want them to get a sense of the community culture at the club.