Rugby

Former Ivybridge player-coach Paterson links up with Parkes at Oaks

FORMER Ivybridge player-coach Lewis Paterson has joined ambitious Plymstock Albion Oaks ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Paterson will link up with his former Devon colleague Dan Parkes, who is head coach at the Horsham Fields club.

Paterson, who will be a player-coach at Oaks, has been playing for South West Premier side Brixham after a number of years at Ivybridge.

“I got back into playing with Brixham and they were very good, but I think I did miss the playing and coaching side,” said Paterson.

“It’s nice to come to a growing club, very similar to where I started my coaching before, and trying to help a side rise. That is quite attractive.

“I can still probably play and have an influence, but also have a foot in the door with the coaching. I am looking forward to it.

“Parkesy and I have had good coaching success together and individually with other clubs so to be together here is exciting. I think the players will get a lot out of it and we’ll get a lot out of it as well.”

He added: “There is a lot of talent here and there is a lot of opportunity and progression for those coming up.

“They have a really keen team and last Saturday had five 18-year-olds players and showed they could pretty much compete with the league champions.”

After long trips to training and playing with Brixham, Paterson, who has also played for Launceston, is looking forward to been closer to home.

“I have family that live in Plymstock and that’s a big thing,” said Paterson, who attended Oaks final match of the season against the Pirates Amateurs last weekend. “It is also a nice, welcoming club and they have some good boys here, which is what you want.”

Parkes is also looking forward to having Paterson on board as he looks to build on another encouraging season for the Horsham-based club, who finished fifth in the Cornwall/Devon League and won the RNEC Cup and Pedrick Cup.

“Lewis has agreed to come in as a player-coach and the spirit he brings will help us next year,” said Parkes.

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