Jack Heald: ‘We understand it is a building process and that doesn’t happen overnight.’
Jack Heald believes Leicester Lions’ development is heading in the right direction.
And the Head Coach at TMDP Park also knows that his side are building momentum as we break for Christmas.
The Lions’ recent performances do suggest that they are starting to recapture their form from last term when they finished in the top three of National Two North.
A hard fought victory over Sheffield Tigers last Saturday was the latest triumph for the Midlands club, who have now won seven of their last 11 matches.
Their purple patch in form comes after the Lions lost their first four games of the campaign, but with Heald replacing Andy Key at the helm at the beginning of this season, it has taken time for his side to adapt to the new regime.
“I have enjoyed the challenge so far,” said Heald. “We have been dissapointed with some of the results we have had against the likes of Hinckley and Tynedale, but we understand it is a building process which doesn’t happen overnight.
“Of course there has been a big transition since Andy left. He created a really good template for me to pick up from and I wanted to change as little as possible. There were a few things I wanted the players to try and that took a bit of time.”
“When Andy was at the club, he guided them to two top three finishes which is a brilliant achievement with a squad that really isn’t that big. We lost a few key players in the summer which haven’t been replaced and it is my aim to try and widen that squad to help us move forward.”
Heald signed a three-year contract at Leicester Lions in the spring of this year after a spell working with National One side Cambridge because the opportunity to be a Head Coach ‘was too good to turn down.’
The 33 year-old knew it was going to be tough joining a side that had finished on the cusp of the top two for the last couple of seasons, but Heald admits coming into an experienced team has been a positive.
An ugly win but a win against a @SheffTigersRUFC side full of ambition – great way to sign off @drewruddy7 250game for the 1st XV #tmdp #lions #brothers
— Leicester Lions RFC (@leicesterlions1) December 16, 2017
He added: “We have about seven or eight different players who have played 100 or more games for the club.
“Jon [Boden] has scored over 2000 points and played nearly 300 games, but you also have the likes of captain Matt Tuckey, Devon Constant and Luke Veebel so it is a club that have a core group of players who have played at lot of rugby together.
“You also have Drew [Rudkin]. He works really hard and he is Leicester through and through and 250 games for the club is a rare commodity.
“I don’t know many other clubs who have that many caps in their side and what these group of players have done for Leicester Lions is a testament to themselves and their loyalty.”
Heald is now hoping for his core group of players to be part of the vision Leicester Lions have over the next couple of years, both on and off the field.
The Lions have recently announced a new clubhouse which is due to open at the start of 2018. The state of the art facilities will be used by club members and the local community as well benefiting all of the rugby teams based at TMDP Park .
“Signing for three years shows I am committed to the team and I think for the club, it is what they want too,” Heald added.
“It allows me to put my ideas forward about how we are going to build. It is important for the players to know what the coaching structure is and the direction we all want to go in.