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Makes Cents: Broady gives thumbs-up to Walney RL job

FORMER Barrow Raiders skipper Gary Broadbent has returned to his roots to take up the head coach’s role at Walney Central, writes PADDY McATEER.

The 36-year-old – who lifted the Championship Grand Final trophy for Barrow in 2009 – takes over the Central Drive hot-seat from Jan Elliott as Cents prepare for life in the new Cumbria League which gets under way in March.

Broadbent, who retired from the professional game 18 months ago, will be assisted by former Cents player and coach Steve Rea, Neil Moore and Harry Gee.

Broadbent came through the mini rugby ranks at Central Drive to captain Barrow and England schools at under-16s level before he embarked on a successful 18-year professional career by joining Widnes as a 16-year-old, and went on to play for Salford, Whitehaven and Barrow at full-back.

The Walney born-and-bred ace, who also captained Cumbria during his distinguished career, said: “I am pleased to take on the job at Walney. It wasn’t something I was planning until I had a chat with Shaun Morrow. Then after some consideration I decided to take on the role as coach.

“I played a couple of A-team games with Mike Whitehead recently but I wasn’t looking any further. It is a new challenge. I did coach the county under-17s while still at Barrow, but this is another avenue with the club joining the Cumbria League. Although I work with a lot of West Cumbrian lads at Sellafield, it will be good to meet up with many of them on the rugby field.

“They will look forward to the challenge of playing ourselves and Barrow Island and though I would have liked other Barrow clubs to be involved, it isn’t to be.

“We believe we can get bigger gates in this league. Just look at the Barrow Island Barton Townley Cup game last season over 300 watching, and playing in summer we will look to achieve similar numbers.”

Broadbent was quick to point out the excellent work Elliott and his staff had done in bringing a good squad together, adding: “They have given us a quality side and with the help of Steve Rea, Neil Moore and Harry Gee we can take the club forward.

“Steve is very knowledgeable and knows the local scene as good as anyone, Neil has worked with the youngsters and Harry Gee, hopefully, will carry on playing and will be the conditioner,leaving myself to put the skills side of the game over to the players.

“Steve Rea will be on hand throughout the season when time allows, so it all bodes well for the future.”

Cents chairman Shaun Morrow is delighted with the appointment, saying: “It is great for the club, Gary is very experienced and we look to him to take us to another level.

“We have a good squad and a lot of young players coming through, and he is very professional.

“But I must thank Jan Elliott and his coaching team for all the good work they have done over the last seven years.”

Have your say

Welcome aboard Gaz, Rev and Mousse I can't wait for pre-season to start and get stuck in with you guys. It's going to be an exciting season ahead. Let the good times continue

Posted by Dave Warne on 23 December 2012 at 20:29

Great news

Posted by daz on 21 December 2012 at 21:16

View all 3 comments on this article

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