Petherbridge takes charge as Bideford unveil new coaching team
- Credit: Bob Collins and Kevin Crowl
Former Barnstaple and Taunton scrum-half Jordan Petherbridge will take his first session as Bideford’s new head coach when the players report back for training on July 2.
Petherbridge, 24, will be working with current player Andy Baxter and ex-Barum team-mate James Starkey as a coaching triumvirate at KGV next season.
Petherbridge was registered with Taunton last term, but dislocated a shoulder during a pre-season game and played no meaningful part in the campaign.
Baxter, generally at home in the centre, will be helping to put the backline players through their paces.
Starkey, now 30, has returned to Bideford primarily as a player but will also assist with coaching the forwards.
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Bideford had to find a new coach after Simon Morrell left at the end of last season to take over at Western Counties rivals Newton Abbot.
Bradley Goaman, the Bideford team manager, said the club were pleased to bring in two former players who had broadened their horizons further up the league ladder.
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“Jordan came to us from Okehampton and stayed up to age 18 then went off to Barnstaple then Taunton,” said Goaman.
“He was part of the Exeter Chiefs academy at Bicton for a while and since then has played at National League level.
“Jordan hardly played last season due to a shoulder injury and we don’t expect to see him playing for us for a while.
“James was with us all the way through from the youth to the first team, then went off to Barnstaple seven years ago, although in some ways he never fully left.
“James stayed in touch coaching our youth teams and always said he would come back as a player one day.
“Like Jordan he has a lot of experience at National Three and National Two level and brings that back with him.
“Hooker has been a troublesome position for us in recent seasons, which James will sort out.
“We tried five different hookers last season and had Dean Folland throwing in, which meant we missed having him in the line-out.
“James pings darts into a line-out and will make us much more competitive in that area.”
Bideford will have a new captain and number two for the season ahead. Alex Priest will lead the side and Will Copp has been voted in as vice-captain.
Barnstaple won’t have to look far to find a replacement for departed hooker James Starkey as they have two candidates in their senior squad.
Martinas Dromantas and colt Ben Jago will be vying for the number two shirt vacated by Bideford-bound Starkey.
Dromantas played for Devon U20s two seasons ago and has played much of his 1st XV rugby off the bench.
Jago was one of three Barnstaple Colts – Brandon Moore and Troy Elworthy were the others – named in Devon under-18 squads last season.
Bryn Jenkins and right-hand man Pat McManus are set to continue as Barum’s coaching supremoes once pre-season training starts.