FORMER Swindon head coach Neil Loader admitted he is both scared and excited after being handed the reigns at Gloucestershire giants Cinderford.
Having left his hometown club in the summer of 2013 following four successful years, a brief spell working with the backs at Wootton Bassett was followed by six months in charge of lowly Salisbury, but Loader has now been given a chance to lead Cinderford in National One, the third tier of English rugby.
The move to such a high-profile side, where success is expected, is a significant step up for Loader, who has also enjoyed a spell coaching at the top of the Italian game, and while he’s excited to get going he also knows his new role brings with it a lot more pressure.
“I heard that the job was going to be advertised so I kept a look out for it, I applied and was lucky enough to get interviewed which I was very flattered by,” he said.
“Then I got offered the job and it’s a massive honour for me because Cinderford are a huge club in this area.
“If you go down the list of clubs in the area and go past the likes of Bristol, Bath and Gloucester you get to Cinderford, they’re the next biggest, so to be given a chance there is amazing,.
“There are 2,000 clubs in the RFU and Cinderford are inside the top 40, so that just shows how big they are, they’re probably at the same level as Swindon Town if you put it in a football context.
“It’s scary and exciting at the same time because it’s a club who set really high standards for themselves and it’s results driven, rather than working at a community club like I have been before.
“They know what they want and they expect to be successful, there’s no doubt about that, so there is certainly some pressure there.”
While Loader is yet to assess the players he has at his disposal at his new club, he admitted the jump up in class may deter him from returning to his former clubs in Wiltshire to bring in bodies.
“It’s a really big jump up in standard in truth, moving up from level six to level three so we will have to see,” he said.
“The first thing to do is to meet and talk about the coaching set-up and then look at the players which are existing there before we think about any gaps which need to be filled.”