Kerr Continuing To Make Progress

A former Newcastle Falcons Academy starlet, tried, tested, and battle-hardened on the mud-soaked field of the North-East of England, West Bridgford’s coach, Gareth Kerr has battle wounds, from a thirty-plus year career, to know a thing or two about the oval game.

Raised ‘up north,’ due to his father’s employment being in Hartlepool with the famed, Castle Eden Brewery, Kerr would spent a good chunk of his playing career, following time with the Falcons, in and around his home town, turning out for clubs like West Hartlepool, and Mowden Park.

He has however, found a new home, at Midlands 1 East side, West Bridgford RFC, somewhere he has been as a player and a coach, for the past five years, somewhere the veteran is more than enjoying being.

“I live within walking distance of the club, so the opportunity to play for, and coach here, was too good to turn down,” began Gareth.

“Although I had a fair few years playing in the north-east, brilliant years, being here has everything which I love about the sport.

“The social aspects, their will to win, competitiveness, what I ask of the players themselves when they come here, and that, in turn, aligns with our own values.”

Having lifted the Midlands 1 East North Division title in 2018, Kerr, and those around him, both on the sidelines, and on the field, continue to enjoy the progression they have, even if recent times have been somewhat difficult, for everyone.

This time though, they’re pushing hard and, although trailing a runaway Bedford Athletic side by some twenty-three points (at the time of writing), they are just a point behind second place Derby, with a game in hand.

Three home games, against Lutterworth (26 March), Market Harborough (9 April), and Bedford Athletic (23 April), whilst an away game at Towcestrians (2 April) to come in the closing throes of the current campaign.

“This season, we’ve managed to keep it going,” explained Gareth, in the aftermath of a pandemic.

“Two seasons back we just stopped, then last time out there was no games at all, but we’ve been looking after our own and took to setting time aside In which to check-in with each other as often as possible.

“That was an eye-opener though, if I’m honest, and it showed that, not just rugby, but sports in general, is good for ones’ mental health.“ Continually looking to progress, both on and off the field of play, Gareth, alongside Graeme Gunn (Team Manager) and fellow coaches Scott Johnson, Dan Montagu, and Matthew Thomas, maintain their want to better the previous season.

Whether that progression is game-by-game, month-by-month, or season-by-season, they have made themselves the ‘go-to club,’ and understandably so with all in which can be offered.

“Results have picking up nicely, and that’s down to the players that we’ve got here,” added Gareth.

“We’re in a really good position, with a strong pool of players in which to call upon, so now we just have to wait and see how it all plays out, especially the promotion scenario.

“Even through our seconds and thirds, both of whom haven’t lost this season, whilst all of our senior teams had an unbeaten month last month (February).

“The on-field plan though, it remains the same, to do better than the previous campaign.

“We’ve always got to be progressing, although we are aware that there’s a ceiling as well.”

As for Gareth though, afford some pity to his long-suffering wife, Claire, who endures, and takes in her stride, the passion in which her husband has for the game.

“I could talk about rugby, and West Bridgford, for hours,” concluded Gareth.

“It really is everything to me and my wife sees as to how happy I am because of it, and as to how sad I can get when we lose.”

Keep up-to-date with all things West Bridgford RFC via their socials, on Facebook and Twitter and via their website at  westbridgfordrfc.rfu.club.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @BridgyRugby West Bridgford Coach Gareth Kerr has over 30 years in the game.

Leave a Reply