The attached photograph of the 1952 First xv led to an interesting phone call and letter from John Brownlee. John was in touch with us to share his very clear memories of playing in this team. He now lives in Norfolk but retains a keen interest in the club. John played for a few years before leaving in 1958 for Tanganyika to work in the Colonial Audit Department.
At the December meeting of the Stirling County Memories Group we were entertained and educated by Coach Ben Cairns who spoke about the Super6 developments at the club. Finishing fourth behind Ayr and Melrose having lost out closely to Watsonians in a play-off, Stirling were still above the other two Edinburgh sides Heriots and Boroughmuir. This was more successful than the previous season and a sign of ongoing progress. Player surveys confirmed that they felt it had been a good season, almost all matches were close and within one score of a win or loss. The television and BBC i-player coverage was also deemed a success.
Ben gave fascinating insight into the professionalism involved at this level of sport. The Scottish Rugby Union provide detailed analysis of each match. There is information on each player’s performance down to the level of yards run, successful passes, missed tackles, ruck and maul contribution, scrum and lineout performance. The coaches then can use this analysis to confirm or challenge team or individual targets and progress.
There are also issues of team selection and each season planning to replace players leaving or introduce those progressing from lower levels. Ben is keen to give opportunities to local talent and ideally build from Stirling’s long-lasting youth development success.
The next meeting is at the club on Monday 7th February at 1.00pm with a guest speaker already organised. All welcome for tea/coffee and cakes.
Derek Young firstname.lastname@example.org