Kendal RUFC senior coach Nick Milner believes continued progression of backs division is crucial (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Kendal RUFC senior coach Nick Milner believes continued progression of backs division is crucial
WITH a recent past dominated by pack power, senior coach Nick Milner insists the progression of the backs division is an increasingly important factor in Kendal’s future.
Milner – who wore Black and Amber until injury forced his retirement aged just 20 – returned to the club last summer to work solely with the backs.
His role expanded with Alastair Livesey’s departure, with his remit taking in defensive arrangement across the entire side as well as the development of attacking play.
And the 43-year-old former scrum-half believes the increasing influence of the backs will be crucial going forward, with the signs positive so far this campaign.
“The backs have progressed and are now more solid in defence compared to the early part of the season when we were quite open,” he said.
“We’ve worked hard on the midfield defence which is being led by Ian Voortman who has been very strong and is a good communicator so he has developed that with us.
“Moving Dan Lowther to ten has given us a different slant on the decision-making process – he has a strong boot although he is still developing the role in that respect.
“Sometimes the backs can be overlooked as the credit tends to go to our very powerful forwards but I think they are starting to show glimpses they have got quite a bit of potential.”
And according to Milner, the changing ethos of the team was demonstrated perfectly on Saturday when Kendal came from behind to eventually see off Carlisle.
“If that game had been earlier in the season we may not have pulled it around,” he added.
“When ten points down, previously our heads may have dropped and we might have capitulated with the game going in Carlisle’s favour.
“We showed good desire and confidence when we got the game by the scruff of the neck to take it on from there.
“Our new resolve showed and it was encouraging from a coaching point of view that when we were trailing, we were confident we would come through.”
Up to fourth in League North One West following back-to-back victories, Kendal travel to Greater Manchester on Saturday for the re-arranged game with Altrincham Kersal.
And Milner is determined to guard against any form of complacency creeping into the corridors of Mint Bridge as Kendal search for a third straight win.
“It’s our job to keep the players’ feet firmly on the ground while at the same time being confident in taking momentum from consecutive wins to get five more points,” he said.
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