BRIDGWATER and Albion RFC have announced changes to their coaching structure, writes Richard Walsh.

Simon Morrell has decided not to apply to renew his contract on completion of the 2017/18 campaign. 

During the last season Simon and his wife had their second child so the demands of a young family, a busy job in a large secondary school coupled with the Head Coach role was a lot to ask so he has rightly needed to prioritise on his young family for a while.

Albion director of rugby Geoff Sluman said: “I would like to say a big thank you to Simon; he is one of the best coaches we have been lucky enough to have and has definitely developed the rugby we play. 

“I hope Simon soon returns to coaching, our sport needs good coaches and Simon is certainly that – I also hope he does not return with any of our competitors!

“We have known about the situation for a while so have been undertaking a review, and were lucky enough to have several strong candidates interested.

“We also wanted to concentrate on the rugby towards the end of the season and try not to cause any distraction off the field that could adversely impact on performance on the field. We wanted to finish as strongly as we could and not be distracted.”

Sluman was delighted to announce the appointment of Wayne Sprangle as a player coach for next season. 

Sprangle brings a great deal of experience as a player, where he plays in the back/second row and as a coach. 

He started his senior playing career at Bath, who gave him first professional contract at the age of 19.

Sprangle then moved to Cornish All Blacks, who were seeking promotion into National Two, spending five seasons with them and gaining promotion all the way to National One - now the Championship - making over 100 first team appearances.

The forward then joined Plymouth Albion in 2007 to remain a Championship player, where he was semi-professional while working as a sports coach at Queen’s College in Taunton.

During his five seasons at Plymouth he represented Somerset in the county championships and was called up the England Counties tour to South Korea and Japan. 

The birth of his and his wife Becky’s twin boys made it difficult to maintain playing at such a level so, not wanting to give up rugby completely, he joined Tiverton RFC in 2012 as a player coach where they gained promotion in Sprangle’s first season, and he says he has learned a lot about coaching.

Sprangle said: “I have enjoyed my time at Tiverton and I thank them for a lot of good times but is certainly time to move on to what I plan to be bigger and better things.

“I am looking forward to working with everyone involved at Bridgwater & Albion RFC, especially with the quality of players that are at the club.”

Sluman said: “We are all excited about working with Wayne and for the next season and can’t wait for pre-season training to start, which will be on July 3. All players old and new are very welcome. 

“There are still some more changes in the coaching set up at the Albion to come and these will be announced.”