Two faces familiar to Taranaki rugby followers will be at the helm of Spotswood United's senior A side next year.
Taranaki Rugby elite development coach Clark Laidlaw and former development manager Michael Collins will join forces for their first club coaching stint.
Spotswood United chairman Royce Kisby said the club received six applications for the senior job with Laidlaw and Collins the stand-outs.
The pair will take over from Kevin Walden who has been in charge for the past three seasons, taking Spotswood to as high as fifth during his tenure.
''We just sort of felt it was time to move on and Kevin had indicated he wants to try and coach at a higher level,'' Kisby said.
''With Clark and Michael's interest, we thought it was a golden opportunity to grab a couple of quality coaches.''
Laidlaw, who was assistant coach of the world champion New Zealand sevens side this year, said the motivation to get involved with a club side centred around his passion for player development.
He also wants to improve himself as a coach and when the opportunity arose to team up with Collins, a former Waikato and Chiefs stalwart, he could not turn it down.
''We think we can compliment each other quite well and work well together and it's an exciting opportunity to get involved in a club side that is not stacked with rep players,'' he said.
''We are going to have to coach and try and make them better. That's the attraction for me, trying to transfer some of the ideas I've got and put them into practice.''
The pair had no intention of trying to bring in a swag of new players, instead they wanted to make the ones at the club better.
''We're not coaching to be superstars or win championships, we just want to coach players,'' Laidlaw said.
Collins, who left Taranaki Rugby at the start of the year, had been keen to be involved with a club since he gave up playing several years ago after a lengthy professional career.
His ties to Spotswood United go back to the Star club where he used to turn out in their midget grades.
''It will be good to have an involvement at the community level,'' he said.
And what did Collins think he would bring to the role?
''Hopefully I can bring a game plan that will allow Spotswood not to play with the ball beyond the No 8,'' he joked.
''I know Clark has a few issues with that but we'll thrash that out over the pre-season.''
On a more serious note, Collins knows the job would not be easy.
''That's one of the reasons we've gone to Spotswood. It's a massive challenge but I'll be looking forward to that challenge.''
■Have you got some club rugby news? Contact Glenn McLean at 06 757 6870 or email@example.com
- © Fairfax NZ News
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