By Haden Tye
Exeter Chiefs flanker Julian Salvi will remain as Albion’s defence and forwards coach for next season and says that so far he has enjoyed his time coaching at Brickfields.
Albion’s Australian coach has been helping Kieran Hallett out since December, whilst still playing for Exeter Chiefs. The 31-year-old has valued the opportunity to coach a National One team, and has enjoyed it all the more for the good relationships he has built with Albion’s coaching staff and players.
Julian praised the mix of senior players and young prosperous talent at the club, which he thinks explains the clubs success towards the end of the season. Julian has fitted into his role seamlessly and both the club and Julian are reaping the rewards.
“Really good,” said Julian of his relationship with Kieran and the coaching staff. “They brought me in with open arms. Again, I have really enjoyed working with them. They are very professional coaches and you just have to look at how the team has done which is down to them and I suppose the culture and environment that they drive, so being able to work alongside them has been great for me.
“The credit has to go down to the players as well due to how they have performed on the field. There are a good bunch of senior guys there alongside a whole bunch of young up and coming talent as well and mixing that together is I suppose in large parts being driven by Kieran and it is proven a successful route for players. They have driven it the majority of the year and I suppose that is why we have had a really good back end to the year.
“Part of the coaching side of things is trying to aid the players and keep guiding the way for them. Having been there and done it before, any sort of experience I can pass on and help the players along can only help. Again, these players have listened and have learned and they have come a long way in the space of a year.”
Albion could well be widely regarded as favourites for the coming National One League season after Kieran’s men stormed to 13 consecutive wins at the end of the season to finish second, but Julian says Albion won’t rest on their laurels and there is much more work to do.
“We won’t look too far ahead,” said Julian. “For us obviously Hartpury were well gone and were too far to catch. So for us this year it was about trying to go level with the promotion score the previous year that Richmond got and we achieved that.
“Again next year is once again going to be completely different in some ways in the sense that we may be tagged as one of the favourite teams. But we have got to do all that hard work before we even start thinking about that. We would like to think that we can get there, but there is a lot of work to be done before we even think about that. “
Julian is thinking long and hard about a career in coaching once his playing days are over and is currently doing his coaching badges whilst also gaining experience at Albion.
“It’s brilliant,” said Julian. “I am doing my coaching badges at the moment. To work with a genuine really good National One team has been beneficial for my own coaching development. I would like to think that I have a pathway down that line, like anyone. A lot of players who are coming towards the end look down the coaching pathway. Again, I am doing my badges for it so it is something I am considering very highly.”