Following the decision of Head Coach Nigel Davies to relinquish his role at Ebbw Vale RFC, the club has appointed this season’s Forwards’ Coach Lee Davies as Head Coach, and following a robust interview process, have selected Ben Daniels to lead our Attack and Backs coaching.
Club Chairman Jon Jones commented that the appointments represent a return to the policy of appointing young ambitious coaches that has driven our success in the last 7 seasons; Jason Strange, Duane Goodfield and Ceri Jones being great examples of how both the club and individuals benefit from the opportunity.
“Lee has impressed with his technical knowledge and passion for the club and I am certain that he is the right man to take the club forward in partnership with Ben who he has worked with previously,” Jonathan said. “Ben is an impressive young coach who is full of ideas and passion and, unknown to him, part one of his interview was at the Beddau game! Having noted how Beddau went about managing the game I listened to the messages he was sending on to the field and was impressed with the content and passion in those messages. I would like to thank Beddau for their co-operation in allowing Ben to come to Ebbw Vale and he is now the third coach to make that transition.”
They will be supported by Strength and Conditioning coach Lewis Roberts, who has worked tirelessly in this role over the last 4 seasons; Team Manager, Martyn Cooke; Analyst and Player Recruitment Darren Venn; and Physio Rhys Shorney, who enters his 8th season with the club.
“I’m sure that Lee, Ben and the rest of the team will be able to count on the continued support and passion from the Ebbw Addicts in the coming seasons,” said Jonathan.
Here are the thoughts of Head Coach – Lee Davies
“I am extremely honoured to be given the opportunity to become Head Coach of such a prestigious club, a club that has provided me with some of my most memorable moments as a player. Hopefully this can now transition into my time as a coach.
Unfortunately this season has been a little disappointing for a number of reasons. However I am now looking forward to getting down to some hard work. The boys will have a good off-season allowing them to come back in pre-season rested and recovered from the endeavours of the previous campaigns. Of late we, as a coaching and playing group, have spent time reviewing and analysing the season, identifying key elements that need changing, improving and tightening up.
I aim to get back to basics with the group. On the face of it I ultimately want us to be as professional as possible, which will mean effective provision of Strength and Conditioning programmes, analysis and on field performance. However underpinning this will be traditional old school rugby club values: togetherness, trust and respect which will be fostered by a senior leadership group, giving players a greater ownership of their environment.
On field, I would like us to develop our playing style, to become more expansive and have the ability to play the picture we see. Again this will be underpinned by foundations in place from this year, with a big, strong set piece and a solid defensive platform. With recruitment going well and the majority of the current squad re-signed I am more than confident we have the ability and personnel to adapt and play a wider brand of rugby.
Finally, a big target for me is to re-engage with our supporters. Without the support and backing of our loyal fans we would definitely be a weaker outfit. Our aim is to give back a little, holding supporter and family fun days so that the club engages with the whole community. Together we will succeed!
Ben Daniels – Attack / Backs Coach
29 and a native of Porth in the Rhondda Valleys, Ben started his coaching career at the age of 18 as a Cardiff Blues Community Coach. He was fortunate enough to gain strong mentorship from Chris Jones, Clive Jones and Neil Boobyer at the early stages of his career with the Rhondda Schools Rugby. He completed his UKCC Level 1 & 2 coaching awards and was then fast tracked to complete the UKCC Level 3 coaching award at the age of 19, becoming at 19 the youngest person to achieve Level 3 status. Ben worked as Rugby Development Officer for 10 years with both the Cardiff Blues and WRU before taking up the position as Head of Rugby at the University of South Wales in September 2016. The role is to oversee and manage the rugby provision within the biggest university in Wales. Part of that role is heading up the USW first team within the BUCS Premiership.
Ben has been involved in many successful teams throughout his career. Some of the highlights include 6 Dewar Shield (School boy) Championships, British School Championship with Coleg Cymoedd under 18s, undefeated season with record breaking score line and maximum bonus points in a senior league with Cambrian RFC, Blues RAG under 18’s development coach. More recently, he has been attack/ backs coach at Beddau RFC for the last three seasons. Within that time Beddau gained promotion back to the championship winning South East Central Division 1. Ben then become the Head Coach with Beddau in the 2016-2017 season in the WRU Championship, where they finished 4th. Here are Ben’s thoughts on joining the Steelmen.
“Being asked to coach such a massive club as Ebbw Vale is a huge honour for me as young, ambitious coach. It was an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse with Ebbw Vale’s traditional rugby history and values really attracting me to the role. Also knowing that with the role comes a big responsibility but also excitement as well.To be appointed as the Attack/Backs coach at Ebbw Vale RFC is something I personally have been waiting for over a long period. I feel this is the next big step for me personally in climbing the ladder to coaching rugby at a professional level. I hope to give the club and dedicated fans continued on-field rugby success for the season approaching. To coach Ebbw Vale, who are one of the biggest rugby clubs in Wales, in the Welsh Premiership is a real privilege. I am hugely excited to be playing my part in the Steelmen’s coaching staff for the 2017-2018 season, and look forward to the challenge ahead. I wish to thank the club for appointing me and look forward to some big successes along the way.
My rugby philosophy is of an attacking mind set. Part of my role will be to develop all players’ fundamentals, core skills, and decision-making. Seeing players play with a high skill level with tempo will hopefully excite the fans at Ebbw Vale for the season ahead. Instilling players with the confidence to attack and score tries will be intriguing for all in the coming season. The new season approaching will see some new young talented players who have put pen to paper for the season 2017-2018 at Ebbw Vale RFC. Hopefully the fans will be on the edge of their seats to see some new young talent and the new attacking mind set of the Steelmen going forward.”