Worthing Raiders high performance team manager Ian Davies reflected on a tough season for the team and said: “It’s been a steep learning curve.”
Raiders were in danger of dropping out of the National League 2 South, before a final day win over already-relegated Exmouth - coupled with defeat for teams above them in the table - ensured their National League status.
Davies, who returned to the club last summer, along with Jody Levett (head coach) - who was assisted by Raiders stalwart Ben Coulson - believes it was a testing first season for the newly-formed management team and said: “It was not an enjoyable final month for all involved. It was important for the club and probably Sussex rugby.
“A lot of teams across the county struggled in their respective leagues, so it was vital we ensured National 2 South rugby remained on players’ doorsteps.
“I feel the season was a steep learning curve for two new coaches, a new captain and for me returning to the area.”
After a seven-year stint away from Sussex, Davies began work at Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham last year.
His new role paved the way for him to make a Raiders return, though work commitments meant he couldn’t be at every game.
With Davies finding it tough watching two of his closest friends struggling for results.
He added: “Due to my school commitments, my role is 95 per cent from a distance.
“It was difficult to see two of your best mates - in Jody and Ben - struggling against the tide.
“My brief is to try and move things forward. Now I have a better handle of how the land lies, we can start to make progress with this.”
Raiders coaching trio of Levett, Coulson and Davies will be staying on for next season.
Having watched last year’s pre-season from a distance, Davies is hoping to be able to offer more of a helping hand this season.
He added: “The three of us will be back in the post next season.
“I will be more available in pre-season this time around as last year was a little difficult for me after a move back down.
This summer I’ll be able to go along and assist both Jody and Ben as much or as little as they like.
“It was a first pre-season I hadn’t designed or implemented in 21 years, it was quite a weird feeling for me. Consistency in every aspect and aligning things so that they help us to achieve the purpose of the club will be the main aims for us next season."
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