Warkworth’s growth may provide a boon for Mahurangi rugby, according to departing Mahurangi Premiers head coach Koen McGee.
Koen will officially step down from his role this month after serving his three-year tenure with the squad, which this year was unable to win a game.
“It was simply the numbers that let us down this year,” Koen says.
“They were hopeless at training and at a number of matches, and some extensive injuries to key players made it worse.”
The team bagged just 95 points and conceded 732 in 14 round robin matches, a statistic that Koen says can only improve with a population increase.
“I think the numbers in the area will determine how the team progresses.
“There’s large growth forecast for Warkworth, which should grow the club and allow the senior sides to improve their performance.”
He says the shortage of players creates multiple problems for the team starting with preparation.
“When we can’t get everyone to training, we can’t build our structures and our patterns if the right players aren’t there to lead them.”
He attributes blow out scores to the lack of quality substitutions available.
“Rugby is a game of attrition so you need to be able to replace your tired players.
“We competed closely in the first half of each of our games and the stats show that, but fell apart in the last 20 minutes.”
He says the other problem is player development, as the small squad puts no selection pressure on a number of positions.
“Players don’t have incentive to improve or train hard because they know we will have to pick them regardless of their performance. There is a core group of guys who do work hard and to an extent they have been let down by the rest of the squad.
The Mahurangi Rugby Football Club (MRFC) has started to advertise for all senior coaching positions for next season and hopes to attract some experienced staff.
“I got into the coaching role to repay the club for letting me play rugby for many years and I have been well supported during that time.”
Both Koen and MRFC chair Ian Bradnam say it is time for a new coach to bring a fresh perspective to the side.
“The junior part of the club is going strong, but the senior side definitely needs to be a focus,” Ian says.
The club has chosen to keep its top side in the Premier One competition despite tough results in that grade for a number of years.
“We don’t want to drop down,” Ian says. “Helensville did this and haven’t been able to get back in Premier One.”
The club also plans to again field a Premier Two side, despite the fact that this year’s team had to default the remainder of its season due to a shortage of players.