Ivybridge ready to start the season with a new chairman and head coach

IVYBRIDGE begin preparations for their 2023-24 Regional One South West campaign on Saturday when they host Truro at Cross-in-Hand.

It has been a summer of change at the Bridgers with the club welcoming a new chairman and a new head coach.

Jay Geraty did start pre-season as the head coach but within three weeks he had found himself having to step into the chairman’s role and he has since appointed former Plymouth Albion player Davy McGregor as the new head coach.

McGregor, who has also played for Rotherham, Coventry, London Irish, Cinderford and Brixham, previously coached Tamar Saracens. He joins Jamie Tripcony, Charlie Briant, Steve Atkinson and Sam Brown on the Ivybridge coaching set-up.

“At the very start of pre-season I took over as head coach, but then at the AGM I took over as chairman,” said former caption Geraty.

“I had two-and-a-half weeks of coaching, which I loved, but someone had to fill the role of chairman. I have taken that on and I’m quite happy as it is a club I love. Hopefully, I can make an impact.”

He added: “I think I’m the youngest chairman this club has ever had. In three years I have gone from playing, to coaching and now chairman.”

Geraty says McGregor, who was at Albion last season, has fitted in well at Cross-in-Hand.

“As a player he was at Albion, Rotherham, London Irish and elsewhere and he has come in and the lads have taken to him well,” said Geraty. “He has also fitted into our existing coaching team well.”

He added: “Pre-season has been going well. We’ve had good numbers, with a few new faces and a few new colts coming through.”

The club are looking forward to the challenge Truro, who finished third in the league below just behind St Austell and Crediton, will bring on Saturday for their first pre-season run-out.

“We were keen to play them last year but unfortunately it had to be cancelled, but they are keen to come up this year and we are looking forward to it,” said Geraty.

“They are a good outfit and that is what we want to be playing in pre-season. There’s no point playing a team a lot lower than you that you can hammer.

“You want to be playing a team that can challenge you but at the same time try out moves.

“It should be a good day as hopefully there will be a good game of rugby and then the international on afterwards. Hopefully, we can get a good turn-out.”

Ivybridge are a club that have grown significantly over the last few seasons with the addition of a successful women’s team and now girls’ sides. The club are now keen to increase their facilities to meet demand.

“Essentially we have grown massively as a club and this is probably one of my biggest headaches is trying to fit everyone in,” said Geraty.

“Although we have grown in numbers of people we haven’t grown in the number of pitches or changing rooms. We have got planning in for an extension, but it isn’t built yet.

“It is great having all these members and people wanting to play rugby but it comes with the need for more pitches, more changing rooms and the club needs updating.

“We have a ladies team and a massive new girls’ team, which is growing, and when the club and changing rooms were built it was basically built for two men’s teams, although we are actually quite lucky with the size of our changing rooms compared to come other clubs.

“We have got this planning in for an extension and these things will come but it will take time and cost money.”

Also in action this weekend are Plympton Victoria who make the short trip to Horsham Fields to play Plymstock Albion Oaks II.

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