Petersfield FC add Kiwi Vicky Alexander to their men’s team coaching staff
Petersfield RFC have made a ‘massive’ addition to their coaching team ahead of their return to London 3 South West.
They have brought in New Zealander Vicky Alexander, who played for Wasps in the women’s Premiership and skippered Guildford to the Championship.
Alexander - a level 3 coach - has also coached Surrey County Ladies, under-18s and under-15s and has recently been part of the coaching team with Premier club Richmond.
But the Surrey club’s relegation from the top tier of women’s rugby has led to Alexander seeking a more local challenge.
‘I wanted to coach at Petersfield because it’s my children’s club,’ she said. ‘I love the philosophy and playing ethos at the club and the club's reputation from other counties and clubs alike is that it’s a friendly club full of good people.’
Head coach Jason Ford enthused: ‘It’s fantastic that Vicky has chosen to gain experience of coaching in the men’s game at Petersfield.
‘I know that she will believe in our ethos and has the knowledge and experience to pass on to the players.
It’s not all about the results on the field, it’s about supporting and developing the players and Vicky will help us with this too.’
Specialist coach Jim Pearce added: ‘There’s not many females coaching in the men’s game. I can’t think of anyone around this area.
‘Vicky is a massive signing for us - you don’t get many level 3 coaches asking to join you.’
Alexander is the latest recruit to the Petersfield coaching team following last season’s Hampshire Premier title success.
Former US Portsmouth coach Matt Wake and one-time Gosport & Fareham junior Liam Perkins joined earlier this summer.
Perkins has skippered Worthing for the last four years and is spending one last year in National League rugby before becoming fully involved with Petersfield in 2021.
Steve Cox - who played with Pearce and Ford at Portsmouth RFC in the 1990s - has also joined the club as a 2nd XV coach.
New players include former Havant pair Miles Sampson and Cameron McGuigan, while Ryan Jeram has switched from Chichester.
The 2020/21 season will see Petersfield renew rivalries with Portsmouth, after just one season - Pearce and Ford’s first at Penns Place - in the top flight of county rugby.
The message to the players, though, will remain the same.
‘We have a saying ‘professional ethos, amateur status’ at the club,’ said Pearce.
‘We just want the boys to have fun. Next season the ethos won’t change - we’ll ask them to enjoy it and to hopefully win more than they lose.
‘The coaches will try and bring the strongest professional ethos that we can, but we’re all amateurs so it’s up to the players to buy into it.
‘They did that last season. The approach worked last season so there’s no point trying to reinvent the wheel - there would be no point to that.’
There was no doubting the approach worked in 2019/20 - Petersfield won 19 of their 21 league games and were 14 points clear of second-placed Alton when the season was ended with three games remaining.
They claimed 16 bonus-point wins out of 19 and scored a whopping 926 points, conceding only 253 in reply.