Edinburgh City is delighted to announce its coaching team for the 2019/20 season.
With playing numbers growing, the club has doubled the size of the coaching staff which will ensure that all match-day teams have a coach present. On top of this, the club is looking to maximize the potential of coaching within the club and has opened up a new role of Coaching Development to assist this process.
Returning for his 5th season as Head Coach, Dan Pratt is hoping to continue his ambitious programme of growth and improvement.
He went in to some detail at his press conference following the signing of his contract extension:
“With the club growing at a high rate, it was always going to be important that the club reacted well this season and agreed to increase the coaching staff.
I’m absolutely delighted with the calibre of coaches that the club has managed to bring in, with a mixture of experience and potential it will be just as exciting to see how far the coaching team comes as the players on court!”
Asked about the plans for the future, he added:
“I think it is clear that we want to keep growing as a club, but not only in terms of playing numbers. It’s important that we are challenging at the top of the league too. We’re of course aiming with the 1s and 2s to win their respective leagues.
For the 3s it’s going to be a great mix of experience and recreational players and I think getting the right balance for those players is going to be a big task this year!”
Another coach who will be extending their contract at the club is Christie Smillie who will be taking on the responsibility of coaching the 2s team this season. With the side aiming for promotion this year it was important to have an ambitious coach in charge and Christie is certainly looking forward to the challenge:
“I’m really excited to be working with the 2s this season. I learned a lot about some of these players last year and I’m hoping that with some more experience and time together that we can bring home that league trophy!”
Christie has also joined City as a player this season, after a couple of years honing her skills at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh City is delighted to have her onboard.
New to the coaching staff this year is Ella Paul who takes on the Coaching/Refereeing Development role and will be assisting Dan in delivering training sessions as well as match-day coaches.
Ella has a wealth of experience, having coached the University team, as well as serving on the SKA Committee and playing as a member of the Scottish national team. The club is ecstatic that Ella has signed up to the coaching staff this season.
Ella has a host of responsibilities and when asked where the big challenges were, she replied:
“Keeping Dan in check, for starters. I’m also looking forward to coaching Dave Ewing because his shooting is awful and I’m hoping to give him a few pointers.”
A wry grin and a nervous laugh signal that she might not be as serious as some think. She goes on to add:
“I hope to actively develop the coaches that City have. Working with the new coaches will be exciting and I’m hoping to breathe new life at the top end of the club too.”
“I’m used to working with one particular team so the challenge of working with a full club is going to be a tough one but I’m looking forward to putting in a structure so that players and coaches know what to expect.”
“Working with all levels is going to be enjoyable, although I’m especially keen to see players who are hungry to improve, I’d like to help them move up a level and perhaps push for a place in the team above where they are at.”
Kash Irshad rounds of the coaching staff for the 2019/20 season, having also joined from Edinburgh University in the off-season. Kash will be responsible for developing the newer players in the club and will take the 3s on match-days.
At his unveiling, Kash was positive about the move:
“City seemed like the perfect club for me as not only do I get to carry on playing, I will also be part of the coaching team with SKL legend Christie Smillie and I’ll get to continue my ‘Coach Carter’ fantasy.”
When asked about what he is looking to bring to his role, he added:
“My main aim is to help newer players improve and enjoy the sport more as well as developing more experienced players to create a City team that will challenge on all fronts.”