AFTER nine years under the guidance of Andy Roberts and John Callander, the Warrington RUFC senior squad will have a new coaching team at the helm for the 2020-21 season.

Stuart Beeley will become head coach and Conrad Morris, who has also had a long association with the club, has agreed to assist.

Josh Riley will act as first-team manager and also assist with coaching, while Josh Downes will continue as club captain.

Beeley said: “It would be remiss, at this stage not to acknowledge the contribution and successes of Andy, John and Nigel over the last nine seasons.

“The first team was unquestionably worthy of retaining its place at level 6 this past season, despite practically every obstacle possible being placed in their way, and had it not been for the onset of coronavirus we would in all likelihood have maintained our league status.

“We are where we are, however, and this does not detract from the achievements of this and previous seasons.

“The coaching team has developed a brand of rugby and an ethos that has allowed us to compete with better ‘funded’ and physically bigger sides over a number of years. Any future success will be built on this foundation.”

Beeley, a secondary school headteacher in Greater Manchester, played most of his senior rugby at Waterloo (then a tier 2 side in what is now the Championship) and also enjoyed spells at Widnes, as player-coach, and New Brighton.

He may also have taken the field in Warrington colours, after an approach from Peter Riley in the early 2000s when he moved to the area, had it not been for a career-ending medical condition.

Beeley has brought a hugely successful team up through mini, junior and colts levels over the past 11 years, culminating in securing the treble in 2019 as junior colts and the league title again this season as senior colts.

A number of this colts side have made impressive débuts for the first and second XV this season and more are set to enhance the squad next season.

With the conveyor belt of talent throughout Warrington’s minis and juniors, everything bodes well for the future both on and off the field.

Beeley addeds “I genuinely cannot wait to have a proper sit down, face-to-face meeting with the players to discuss goals, set parameters, establish expectations of each other and just become familiar.

“Whether it be my sporting or professional life, I am big into culture and values. Without these in place, everything else is built on sand.

“We will discuss what they want this to look like and I will share my own thoughts. I have high expectations of both myself and everyone I work with.

“This has served me, the teams I’ve coached and the schools I’ve worked in well. For this I make no apology because ultimately our goal is to regain level 6 rugby within one season.

“We will enjoy ourselves and have fun in the process but, personally, I’ve never enjoyed losing at anything and it is not my intention to start now.”