The new coach of Edinburgh Rugby is going to be:
a) Michael Ball
b) Michael Flatley
c) Michael Bradley
d) Bradley Wiggins
I have to admit, the name didn’t ring much of a bell with me either. (The answer is rumoured to be c) by the way). Michael Bradley, former coach of Connacht. Not the Connacht of this season, who have done pretty well under Blessed Eric. No, the Connacht from before. So there you have your answer to the other great question of our time – are the pro-sides turning into second class citizens under the current SRU regime?
I was hoping they wouldn’t appoint Eddie O’ Sullivan, so in that regard at least it would be a satisfactory outcome. But anyone hoping for a surprise high level appointment like that of Andy Robinson will be fairly disappointed, and I have to say it does seem a little like Bradley – who has plenty of experience running a team that is a distinctly underfunded lesser cousin, aimed at growing players for another team – represents a step sideways for Edinburgh, who may have had this foisted on them from above.
This Scotsman article asserts that the triumvirate of Mckie, Robinson and Lowe will be responsible for the appointment. If it were my organisation (and it is clearly not), Gordon Mckie should be responsible for rubber stamping the appointment and allocating a budget for the new coaches wages. That’s it. Despite his recent efforts to prove otherwise (for example publicly criticising the playing and fitness of the pro-teams that it seems he is slowly running down), he is not and should not be involved in rugby affairs and certainly not at pro team level, where they have their own executive structures. Sort out the debt and move on. (If it were my organisation I would take the new coaches’ wages out of Mckie’s too, but that is another story.)
I don’t doubt that if appointed, Michael Bradley will prove me wrong and at some point down the line I will be made to eat my words, but the decision still does not seem like the right one for anything other than financial reasons. Surely if we were appointing a rugby nobody we could have taken one of our own home-grown coaching nobodies on board – Craig Chalmers from Melrose is not coaching at that much different a level and has had considerable success. Peter Wright and Ally Donaldson may also have been in the frame. If we are giving a coach a chance to turn from nobody into somebody, shouldn’t it be one of our own?
Answers on a postcard please.