Old Techs bring in Oram to head up their coaching set-up

OLD TECHS have strengthened their backroom team by bringing in former Tamar Saracens coach Dean Oram ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Oram, whose playing career included spells at Devonport Services, Brixham, Tamar Saracens and Plymouth Barbarians, will head up the coaching at Weston Mill.

Shaun Bedford-Smith, who also has other roles on Techs’ committee, will still be involved but was keen to take more of a back seat this year in terms of coaching.

“I can’t wait for Dean to start,” admitted Bedford-Smith. “He will have the full reins at training to put his stamp on the team.

“I am still going to be there and have an input, but the main drive and game-plan will come from Dean.

“He’s going to come in with his own ideas and he’s going to bring a fresh voice.”

Bedford-Smith added: “When it was just me last year it did get a bit too much, to be fair.

“We knew we needed to bring someone in to give me a hand.

“We talked to Dean and he came down here and had a chat with the committee and he put his points across about what he wants to do and all the committee were on board with it.”

Oram coached at Tamar Saracens for three seasons before Covid and help them to runners-up spot in Devon One. Prior to that he also coached in the youth set-up at Devonport Services.

He said he was keen to get back into coaching and is looking forward to getting stuck in at Weston Mill.

“I know the league and I have experience coaching in it,” said Oram.

“I just want to bring in a big team work ethic really and if we can get everyone buying into it, then it should bring some success.

“In this league you don’t know what teams are going to be like year from year, but what is important is we just get our boys together and have a good go ourselves. We can’t worry about the opposition; we just have to concentrate on ourselves.”

He added: “I have played against Techs over the years and they are a club who have got a lot of history.

“I just want to be involved in rugby again. But I have just come down here to coach rugby and I will let the rugby do the talking.”

Techs are celebrating their 90th anniversary this season and are looking forward to competing in the new-look Devon West division.

Techs finished seventh in Devon One last year, but they did prove on their day they could beat anyone when they had a full team available.

“We beat both the teams that got promoted – Exeter Saracens and South Molton – so we showed our potential,” said Bedford-Smith.

“But it’s no good doing it once every six weeks; you want to be doing it every week.

“We were good at home and beat the top sides here, but it is also about going away and having that consistency.

“It is about getting consistency and players available every week.

“We have no expectations as such for next season. We are not saying we are going to get promoted or anything like that, we are just going to see how the season pans out.

“If the players buy into what Dean wants to do, then I don’t see any reason why we can’t improve on last year.”

He added: “Second teams have been brought into the league now and we just have to live with that.

“One thing about that is we are going to be going to different places – Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Topsham – which might create a bit of interest.

“We haven’t played at Newton Abbot in 20-odd years. They were in our league – Devon One – at one point when me and (chairman) Dave (Evans) were playing and one season it was between us and them to get promoted. They got promoted and then went through the leagues and we just stayed where we were.”

Techs will begin their league season with a tricky trip to Totnes on September 3.

They have arranged home pre-season games against OPMs on August 20 and Liskeard-Looe on August 27.

The club will start training again on Thursday, July 7 at Weston Mill (7pm) and say new players are welcome to turn up on the day.

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