NEWS | McMaster named new Head Coach

20 Sep

The Club are delighted to announce that Neale McMaster has been named the new Head Coach of the senior team.

McMaster takes over from Interim HC Darren Hill who took the reins shortly before the start of the 2016 season, and says he is looking forward to the challenge:

I am incredibly proud and honored to be named the third Head Coach of the Eagles.

It’s a role I take with great excitement. I know the standards the club expects, I know what the goals are and I can’t wait to get started and help the club achieve those goals.

I’m taking charge of a team that for the first time is expecting to return more than 75% of its players from last year, which gives us a much better platform to start from than in previous seasons, and by focusing on culture and developing people as well as just ‘players and coaches’, I’m sure we can exceed our expectations early and be consistent in that.

Following a successful playing career in Scotland with the University of Glasgow Tigers and East Kilbride Pirates, McMaster moved south of the border in 2012 and joined the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders initially as a player, before becoming Offensive Line coach ahead of the 2013 season.

He became Chairman of the newly-formed Eagles following the merger between the Blue Raiders and Milton Keynes Pathfinders, and was named Offensive Coordinator by former Head Coach Will White.

In Neale’s three seasons as OC the Eagles posted a combined 19-11 record which included a record 75-6 win against the Ipswich Cardinals in 2014 and play-off appearances in 2014 and 2015, and he is also a part of the coaching setup with the Great Britain Lions.

As a result of his appointment as HC he will be stepping down from Chairman duties with immediate effect, with Vice Chairman Mark Chilton taking temporary charge until the AGM in November.

On his appointment, the Committee released a joint statement:

Nellie is one of brightest young coaches in the country and we look forward to working closely with him in his new role.

We would like to thank him for his efforts and dedication as Chairman, during which time we have firmly established ourselves as one of the leading Clubs in the area, and have expanded to include Flag and Youth teams.

We would also like to thank Darren Hill for his hard work as Interim Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator, and wish him all the best for the future.

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