Jones con­fi­dent about fu­ture as he pre­pares to step down at Pats

Gloucestershire Echo - - RACING -

» CRAIG Jones will be part of the team look­ing for a re­place­ment in his role at Old Pate­sians.

Jones an­nounced last month he would be tak­ing a break from rugby and step­ping down as head coach at the end of the sea­son.

Old Pats have strug­gled in their re­turn to South West Pre­mier, win­ning just three times, but Jones be­lieves they would be nearer the top of the league if they had any luck with in­juries.

He said: “Last sea­son we had a very good sea­son. We al­ways knew that we would have to keep our main squad fit and avail­able this sea­son in or­der to com­pete.

“I still stand by it. If that had have hap­pened, I be­lieve we would be mid­dle/near the top of the league.

“Our in­jury and un­avail­abil­ity list at the mo­ment stands at 29 play­ers. “It’s not just 20 odd play­ers – it’s longterm in­juries.

“Did we ex­pect to win just three games at this stage of the sea­son? Of course not.

“But did we think it would be dif­fi­cult? Yes, of course.”

Jones re­vealed the club is in talks with a num­ber of peo­ple over the va­cant role.

When asked what was the fu­ture for the club af­ter he steps down, Jones replied: “That’s the big ques­tion ev­ery­one wants to know.

“The club is in dis­cus­sion with a num­ber of peo­ple at the mo­ment about who is go­ing to take over.

“I openly said to the chair­man that I’d like to be in­volved with any ne­go­ti­a­tions over a new man­ager.

“The per­son who takes over needs to be the right per­son. We need some­one who is go­ing to be here for the long-run, it can’t be some­one who is go­ing to leave the club af­ter the sea­son.

“We need some­one who un­der­stands the cul­ture of the club. Some­one who comes in and wants to build a fu­ture, the next gen­er­a­tion and he needs to be very pos­i­tive.

“The club is look­ing very healthy and with the play­ers com­ing back at the end of the sea­son, I’m pretty sure we’ll be there or there­abouts ready to bounce back next sea­son.”

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