Leamington Rugby Football Club nominated Bryn Evans, the manager of the 2nd team, who arguably has the hardest job in the club, as our sporting hero award winner for August 2014. Affectionately known as The Extras, the second team are very much a developmental team and, by the very nature of such a side, there is constant movement of players between the first and second teams. This makes managing the players a skilled role, making sure that first team success is supported by keeping up the skills and training with the second team to a very high level.
Bryn has always been a sports lover, who switched from football to rugby aged 16, after his best mate encouraged him to try rugby at his local amateur club, Chinnor, in Oxfordshire. He played there for 20 years. He has also turned his hand to cricket. It was when his son started in the junior rugby that Bryn got involved in senior rugby at Leamington, first coaching the third senior team before moving onto the second team. He has worked tirelessly as fixture secretary at the club for 10 years.
Bryn keeps a tight rein over what is happening, managing the players both on and off the pitch, all in a manner that is appreciated both by the older and younger players. He looks after the youngsters in the side who are finding their way in the senior game, cajoles the senior players into keep playing and is very much the glue that holds it all together. Bryn looks after the logistics of the team, getting players to the correct place at the correct time, sorting kit, all with a smile on his face and dry comment. He is always there....come rain or shine, checking on his players at training and welcoming new players to the club. He also encourages his team to enjoy the social side of rugby, stopping for a pint afterwards, joining in club events, getting a table together for the club dinner.
Bryn is a team man through and through, but never wants to be the centre of attention. He explained “I prefer to work quietly in the background rather than being in the limelight”. Last season, it all clicked for his team and bar one match they were undefeated in the league, a superb performance for a transitional team. His aim this year is to win the league again with The Extras.
For youngsters starting out in rugby his advice is “Just enjoy it – enjoy your playing and make use of your natural skills rather than being coached into drills. There is plenty of time later for a coach to develop patterns and ways of playing as a team”.
No stranger to hard work, Bryn is always first to turn up for club 'working parties' - again just getting on with it, with either a spade or saw in hand, helping to tidy the grounds.
According to Phil McGaffin, who nominated him “He’s a club man through and through - every club needs a 'Bryn'.” We couldn’t agree more and are delighted to award him a Tissot watch as our sporting hero competition winner for August.