NORTHWICH RUFC have confirmed a new director of rugby to lead them into the new season.

The club have appointed John Brotherton, who has served the club in both playing and coaching roles for more than three decades, to the role to replace the outgoing Phil Clarke, who has moved into a rugby consultant role at Moss Farm.

Known within the club as “Beef,” Brotherton will oversee all on-field matters for Blacks from the first XV down to the Mini & Junior sections.

And club chairman Andy Naylor is confident they have the right man for the job.

“I’m thrilled that Beef has agreed to be our Director of Rugby,” he said.

“He is a fantastic coach and one of the very few figures within the game locally who can blend a traditional approach to rugby with embracing new methods of player development and he is incredibly well respected by the squad.

“This appointment will enable NRUFC to harness his passion and knowledge across all areas of the playing community.”

Brotherton takes on the role at a time when the first team are preparing for life at a lower level following relegation from the Regional One North West division.

However, he hopes to be able to make the 2024-25 campaign, which is due to start in September, “the most enjoyable and successful for a while.”

“Having made my debut for NRUFC as a junior and being involved with the club throughout the last 30 odd years, it’s a role I am extremely honoured to take on,” he said.

“During pre-season, we will be working hard to build an environment that encourages players to come and join in, whatever their ability.

“We will work hard to make the sessions fun whilst also developing the skills and fitness of the lads.

“Our ultimate aim for the senior men this season is to get three teams playing rugby on as many Saturdays as possible.

“I’m really excited to get stuck in – we have a fantastic core of players and volunteers and whilst this will be a big challenge for me, I can’t wait to continue working with some of the fantastic coaches and players throughout the club.

“Northwich survives on a network of volunteers and this past year, we have been blessed with people willing to put their hand up and help out. The club belongs to all of us.

“With the right environment in place we will build on our strong foundations and make this season one of the most enjoyable and successful for a while.”