Goode knows the size of his next challenge at the Bulls

Matt Goode is the new head coach at Bodicote Park
Matt Goode is the new head coach at Bodicote Park

Matt Goode has taken on the top job at Bodicote Park as head coach of Banbury Bulls.

And it promises to be a very busy season as Goode combines the position with that of his club youth development officer’s role.

Having started my rugby career at Banbury aged six in 1990, I’m delighted and honoured to have been asked to lead the club’s coaching structure for the new season

Head coach Matt Goode

As backs coach and player last season, Goode played an important part in Bulls finishing sixth in their first season in South West One East following promotion and retaining the Oxon Knockout Cup.

Goode will be ably supported by a management and coaching team that includes old and new faces. Head coach for the last six successful years, James Kerr will take on a coaching role alongside new forwards player-coach signing Joe Winpenny.

Last season’s club captain Ian Isham will serve another term and on the administrative side club stalwart Ray Shaw is now the first XV manager. Mark Kirwin remains as the Lions coach and Nik Roddis also continues as the senior player’s physio.

Goode said: “Having started my rugby career at Banbury aged six in 1990, I’m delighted and honoured to have been asked to lead the club’s coaching structure for the new season.

“I would like to thank James Kerr (JK) for the hard work he has put into the club for the last six seasons as head coach. If it wasn’t for the dedication, selflessness and hard work of JK, Ian Heywood and former skipper Ed Phillips over the years, the team would not be where it is today.

“I’m also delighted that JK is staying on the coaching team and know that he will thrive in his new role.

“Following on from two very successful seasons is a hard act to follow but one that we are all looking forward to. The club’s ambition and focus is of the same thinking as mine and I am very excited to be working alongside all our coaches, not only at senior level but also with our mini and junior sections.

“One key focus will be looking at our young players coming through and then pushing them on to senior rugby. Banbury RUFC have been very successful with this in recent years and many academy colts have successfully made the transition to the senior sides.

“Pre-season started with a bang with many new faces who want to be part of this amazing club. You can be very sure we’ll be ready for the first league fixture in September at home against Witney.”