Max Hansford Appointed as New Coach

For the first time in ten years, Sidmouth Rugby Club have appointed a coach from within its own ranks. Max Hansford took on the position of Head Coach at the beginning of the month.

As expected, Andy Matchett has stepped down after three seasons. The former Plymouth Albion and Cornish All Blacks player returned to Sidmouth in 2007 to act as player coach, a role in which he achieved notable success. In his first season he guided the Chiefs to promotion to the South West Two League, where they achieved a top half finish in 2008. Last season they retained their place in the league and reached the semi-final of the Devon Senior Cup for the first time in 30 years.

Max Hansford is the first product of the Sidmouth Junior section to graduate to the position of Head Coach. He made his debut for the Chiefs in 1989, while still a Colt. He quickly established his place in the team before moving to Exeter in order to test his ability at a higher level. He has also played a high level of rugby in South Africa and the USA. He eventually returned to Sidmouth and a regular place on the wing, or at full back. He was captain in the 2001-2002 season.

He brings a good deal of experience and enthusiasm to the job of coach. He took an early interest in coaching and has worked his way up to the RFU level two. He had a successful spell coaching the Colts and has acted as an assistant coach with the seniors for a number of years. After a long apprenticeship, both he and the Club believe that he is ready to take on the main role.