Greg McWilliams’ Plans for RUNY in the 2020 MLR Season
As the Preseason quickly approaches, Head Coach Greg McWilliams is working on his plan for the RUNY Squad. With his impressive and extensive coaching career, he has a strong vision for the development and performance of the RUNY Squad in the 2020 MLR Season. He stopped by the RUNY Office last week to meet the Front Office Team and we had a chance to catch up with him afterwards to give us a sneak peak of what’s on the horizon for the team.
What are your goals for the 2020 MLR Season?
To begin, I want to follow on from the great work done by Tolks & Kees. I am excited to engage with the entire staff and plan together, creating a statement of work that can impact performance. There is an excellent player group in place, and we are finalizing the remainder of the squad and management team, it’s exciting. The key will be in the process, we will hang our hat on that. Results are the byproduct of a strong culture and an effective playing style. I want RUNY to be known for the rugby it plays.
What RUNY athletes have you coached in the past? (both with the National team and back in Ireland)
I have coached quite a few of the players, some short term and some for years. I coached Cathal Marsh and Mark O’Keeffe from a young age. On top of that, I coached Dylan Fawsitt, Nate Brakeley, Luke Hume, Connor Wallace-Sims, Matt Hughston, Marcus Satava, JP Aguirre, Jake Feury, Alex MacDonald, Paddy Ryan, Marcus Walsh and a few more recruits that are joining the group for the 2020 season.
What are you looking forward to working on a professional rugby team in New York?
Everything!! I am just so excited to have the opportunity to work with a staff and player group that wants to do something special. I am also looking forward to developing strong links with the local clubs, colleges and high schools. Coach Education will be at the forefront of our planning, providing resources where needed. Starting November 9th in New Jersey, I’m looking forward to meeting the clubs; they are our heartbeat. RUNY might be the highest level of rugby, but we are only as strong as our club, college and high school game.
What challenges do you expect this upcoming MLR Season?
Opposition teams have improved right across the board. I was very impressed and some of their incoming signings are only going to strengthen their cause. We have a small lead time, so it is important we make the most of every opportunity to get better, on and off the field. Obviously coming from the Northeast, we need to be creative around our winter preparation. It’s going to be freezing with lots of snow, but we are ready for that.
What type of culture are you looking to build in the RUNY locker room?
The players will be driving the culture and the management is there to guide and help mold it. There is no shortage of great men in the player group who have lots of experience, so we will be leaning on them to drive standards and acceptable outcomes. At the end of the day, it is all about the players. They need to take big responsibility for our actions, and building that environment is king.
How do you establish trust with the athletes?
This is vital to any successful team / organization. Consistency and transparency are a good starting point. The plan needs to be owned by the entire organization. When people have clarity of action, things can flow.
Being a professional sports coach in a city like New York naturally comes with the expectation to succeed. How will you cope with that pressure?
We all want to be a part of something great for New Yorkers, otherwise why do it? This means winning. We need to own our process, setting high standards across the board and creating a DNA that represents the city. Intent is infectious, hopefully supporters can witness that and draw from it.
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