Fly-half thanks club, supporters and sponsors in his out-going interview
Plymouth Albion fly-half Dan Mugford has announced he is off to pastures new after just one season back at the club.
Mugford, formerly of London Scottish, Nottingham Rugby and Sale Sharks, has signed for an undisclosed Rugby Pro D2 team in central France.
He says: “It was a really hard decision as I have enjoyed my season back home in Devon but I think it is time to start to push my rugby on to that next stage.
“Pro D2 is a good level of rugby. It is a big deal over there and I am looking forward to getting stuck into it.”
The 26-year-old, who left Sale 12 months ago, says: “It has been well reported that I came here in not a great space but actually it has really helped me on and off the field being part of Plymouth Albion as a club.
“That includes all the lads, the coaches, everyone behind the scenes and also all the fans.”
The former Exeter Academy player took the opportunity to wish Albion all the best for the future: “I hope they can have a great season and get to the next level and, never say never, I might be back one day!”
Mugford was enjoying a successful season before he ruptured a finger tendon against Caldy in February and went on to break his arm in the gym. He says: “My arm is getting there. I would have liked to have been able to run out with the boys one last time in front of the crowd but it’s not to be. Unfortunately, having had a chat with the doctors, the contact side is the problem and that’s a real shame.
“But I am moving on and slowly it is getting there day by day and step by step.”
Mugford explains his next move is about challenging himself – both on and off the field.
“It is about pushing my rugby on to that next stage. It is something completely new. I don’t speak French and have never spent much time in France so it is going to be a real challenge and something completely different from what I have done before. The level of rugby is a slight increase and that is going to be a great test for my skill.
“I am looking forward to getting out there and testing myself against some great players and hopefully doing what I can to help the team push forward.”
The 26-year-old has already achieved much in his short career but is keen to keep enjoyment as the main focus.
“To be honest, I am not looking too far ahead. You always want to be playing at as high a level as possible and that is still my objective. For much of this year I didn’t really focus on that too much which allowed me to enjoy the present, being here and playing week in week out and I think that’s the way forward for me. It is just about enjoying what I am doing at the time and seeing what comes from it. There is no need to put on too much pressure to be playing at the highest level. Obviously that’s the end goal and that’s brilliant but at the end of the day it’s here and now, it’s today that counts, so that’s what I am looking to do from here on in.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for accepting me with open arms and supporting me. It’s been tough at times but has been made so much easier by everybody involved on and off the field, from the lads in the changing room, to the coaching staff, the supporters and all those behind the scenes. Dave Venables the owner has been phenomenal and I hope one day I can come back and repay that faith in me.”
Head coach Kieran Hallett says: “Dan has been great. He is a classy player who has worked hard for us this year. His injuries were disappointing but he put everything into being here which we thank him for and we wish him all the best.”