09 May 2017 / Club News

Brian's Interview with Craig Turner

Craig is part of the current senior coaching team at Aberystwyth RFC. He has seen the team complete its first season playing at the highest level in its history and finishing in a very creditable position in SWALEC Division 1 West. His involvement with the club extends for over 30 years. His late father was actively involved with the youth set-up here and both his elder brothers played at that level for the club. Craig was club captain in 1991/92.

Where did you learn your rugby? I started playing rugby at Penglais school under Peter Duggan.

Who have been the main influences on your rugby? My father and two brothers and of course, Peter Duggan in particular.

What brought you to Aber? My father’s work. I was born in Glasgow but the family moved to Aber when I was a child.

Is rugby your favourite sport? Yes, definitely.

What other sports do you play? Nothing these days but I played football and basketball and rowed when I was younger.

Which of the four Welsh Regional sides do you support? The Ospreys (?)

What is your work? I am a fire officer and have been in the fire service for the past twenty six years.

What do you like most about living in Aber? The people, the town itself and the whole area.

Is there anything you dislike about living here? No, nothing.

What did you want to be when you were younger? A plumber.

What are your career and sporting ambitions? To progress to work at a higher level as a rugby coach and in my career.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life and career? No one in particular.

What has been your biggest achievement in your rugby career? Being club captain at Aberystwyth in 1991/92.

What has been your biggest disappointment in your rugby life? When the league system was introduced at our level and teams were allocated to different levels. Aber missed out and joined the lower leagues when we could have moved up to compete at a higher level.

When you are not involved here as a coach what else do you like doing? I have four daughters, two of whom have started to play rugby, so they all keep me busy.

Do you cook? What is your favourite meal? I can make spaghetti Bolognese but my favourite meal is steak and chips.

If you were a contestant on Bake Off, what would you cook? A fruitcake (!)

Which of the Aber squad would you like to see on Strictly – and why? James Plumridge; because he has good feet (in common with all props of course!)

What is your favourite TV programme, your favourite film actor and what music do you like? Game of Thrones, Clint Eastwood and heavy metal.

Do you have ambitions to travel? If so, where to? Around the UK first because there is so much of it that I haven’t seen.

What matters most to you in your life outside rugby? My family.

Who do you consider to be the best sportsman ever? Michael Johnson (not a front row forward as far as I know!).

When did you first develop your ambition to coach? After being harangued by Wayne Thomas.

What do you like most about coaching? Seeing players develop skills and ability.

Which of the current coaches do you admire most and why? Mark McCall (Saracens) because of the style and success he has achieved at his club.

This is your first season at senior level as coach. What have you enjoyed most and what have you found most difficult about this experience? Seeing players’ development and individuals’ improvement. Pushing them to achieve their potential and giving them belief in themselves.

How do you rate the current Aber side? Very good and evolving.

This has been a season of two halves for Aber. The opening half was very successful but the second half, with much the same players, has been considerably less so. How would you explain this?  At the outset we were fearless and had no respect for teams’ reputations so we played better rugby and won games. When we started to lose games we began to lose confidence at the same time and this continued for a while.

How do you plan to turn things around? We have a few ideas in mind to improve, such as restarting an Athletic XV, better relations with clubs above and below us and so on

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