Enniskillen RFC recently appointed their new head coach before pre-season commenced recently. After advertising the position
the successful candidate was Alasdair McKee who most recently held the reins at Qualifying One club, Academy RFC.
Alasdair was a player at both Cookstown and Academy before embarking on his coaching career firstly at Randalstown as an
assistant before returning to Academy, again as an assistant, before taking over the reins as their Director of Rugby in 2006.
During his spell with the Mallusk based side their 1st XV managed two promotions, from Qualifying three in 2007/08 and then the club by passed Enniskillen in 2009/10 when Academy won Qualifying Two. Their time in the top section of “Junior” rugby saw them finish 5th and 8th, consolidating their presence.
In addition to his club commitments Alasdair has also been involved as a Community Rugby Officer through the IRFU, Ulster Branch, connected with Academy RFC, visiting schools to increase involvement in the sport and this past season has seen him appointed as the Head Coach of the Ulster Junior side, bringing the best players together from clubs within the Qualifying League.
Alasdair comes to Enniskillen seeking a fresh challenge and having met with many of the players and officials feels that there is potential at Mullaghmeen. “I had noticed Enniskillen advertising a couple of times recently and decided it was time to step up to a fresh challenge and having spoken with the club I was excited about how open they were about their ambitions and they came across as a good bunch of guys”. Having had a meeting with players shortly after his appointment and prior to the start of the pre-season training regime, Alasdair feels that his job is “to get the players’ hunger to do well focussed and honed” and if he can do that then he thinks the club can do well. He did admit to not knowing a lot about the current crop of players at Mullaghmeen, although one or two names crossed his radar during his spell with the Ulster Juniors, but is keen to see if he can bring in a few new faces. He added that “you never want to make any rash statements about what you will achieve but you have to take a positive attitude, which hopefully will be brought to the fore during pre-season”.
Alasdair brings experience to the table and believes that the difference between being successful and not is down to fine margins, “there is never much in it and you find that quite often one or two sides breaks free from the pack and it would be nice to be one of them.” In addition he hopes his style of rugby can bring some success. “ I espouse greatly to the fifteen man game. To me it’s as important for the props to carry and offload the ball as confidently as the half backs or three quarters, especially after a number of phases, and if do this in a controlled fashion then we will have as many players on their feet as possible, which allows us to exploit space.” Enniskillen’s pre-season matches start on Wednesday, August 15th, when Strabane
travel to Mullaghmeen for a 7:30 kick-off, followed by Ballina and Dromore on Saturdays 18th and 25th August respectively