Standing on the shoulders of giants sees Addis rewarded
SELFLESS is probably the best word to describe Andy Addis’ tenure as Newent head coach.
Alongside an experienced coaching team of former England Under-18s schools head coach Pete Kingston and Northampton hooker Ross McMillan, the Recreation Ground men stand on the verge of greatness.
Following last Saturday’s impressive 50-0 shut-out of hosts Chesham in the RFU Junior Vase quarter-final, the Green Army are now just one victory away from running out on the Twickenham turf.
As well as that Newent lead Gloucester Division One by eight points, with two games in hand because of their cup exploits, and look set for their third promotion in the last four years.
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If that was not enough, then the carrot of a possible undefeated league campaign dangles in front of them following 15 consecutive victories.
Those achievements have now earned Addis special praise after being recognised by the RFU for his volunteering services to rugby.
Addis has been chosen as one of nine people from across the south of the country to attend a Volunteer Recognition Event next Tuesday, March 5, at England’s training base Pennyhill Park.
In the letter he received from the sports governing body, it said: “The RFU would like to recognise your voluntary contribution to rugby.
It continued: “To show our sincere thanks you have been chosen to attend this special event which includes an exclusive opportunity to watch the England Senior Squad training session preceded by a specially selected lunch.”
But Addis refuses to take all of the credit himself and insists on putting the club first, ahead of his own personal development.
He said: “When I stopped playing I still loved the game and I loved watching the game, but I’d lost the passion for playing.
“Then through my son Michael I got dragged into coaching at Ledbury Under-ten level and started lending a hand.
“I did my level one coaching badge and then my level two and I should do my level three but I can’t do it at the moment because we have too many things going on at the minute.
“We’re going well in the Junior Vase, we’re top of the league, the seconds are top of their league and there’s also another team developing at the club.
“We’re trying to get the colts up and running because we really want to try and back the kids side and we’re trying to get the ladies side going as well, but I can’t split myself.
“On Monday night I help the Newent Colts every other week, then on Tuesday I help coach the senior squad. Then on Wednesday I’m at Ledbury with Michael’s team and Thursday I’m with Newent’s seniors again.
“Friday I have to take the wife shopping because on Saturday I’m at Newent for matches from 12ish onwards until it finishes.
“Then on Sunday I’m with Michael’s lot in the morning playing rugby so I don’t get much spare time.
“But I’m lucky because I have a lot of good people around me which makes my life easier.”
LEAN AND GREEN – THAT’S THE WAY TO SUSTAIN GLORY
NEWENT’s nickname of the Green Army may soon have to be changed to the Green Machine.
Given the way the Gloucester One men are storming through the divisions and national cup competitions the Recreation Ground men are on a collision course with success.
It is not hard to see why, with no one person at the club deemed more important than the other.
Behind the coaching team of Andy Addis, backs guru Pete Kingston and forwards specialist Ross McMillan there are a number of other faces who keep the engine nicely ticking over.
President Mike Poole has been at the club from the beginning in 1970, first as a player and then when the club was under threat from folding six years ago after the whole first team departed almost overnight.
Chairman Dennis Hamlen is working hard to find the club a new ground in the town, and Dave Crowhurst keeps the outside world up to date by looking after the website.
John Moore is listed on the website as publicity officer and fixtures secretary, but everyone at the club would confess that he does a lot more than those two roles.
It is this sense of teamwork that head coach Addis says makes the club click so well.
“Comradeship I would say,” said Addis.
“The only reason it works is because of the team spirit.
“The whole club are all tight and I personally want everybody to feel like a community – dare I say it like the Welsh, where everyone is a part of it.
“Everyone is important because everyone is important and everyone has a position in the club because it is a big machine.
“Without all of the cogs turning together then it is not going to work properly.
“So I say lets make everyone feel valued. That is what I have tried to do here, but they were already doing that before I arrived because they were a tight knit bunch of boys anyway.”