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The most successful coach in Amersham and Chiltern RFC's history steps down
5:15pm Thursday 19th July 2012 in Sport
MATT Allen has stepped down as head coach at Amersham and Chiltern to concentrate on playing for the club instead.
He will be replaced at the helm of the National League Three side by Welshman Alun Rise, who has arrived from fellow National League Three side, Redingensians where he has been coaching for the last two seasons.
Allen, who will combine playing for the first team with a new role as academy director, said: “I have enjoyed my time as coach of the first team but it was becoming harder and harder to do the dual role.
“You are a long time retired and I wanted to carry on playing for another two or three years and to play at this level you need to train totally.”
Allen has overseen the club through its greatest years. They were playing at level eight when he arrived but he has led them into the National League and steered them to safety in their first year at that status last term.
He said: “When I first joined the club you could just turn up and play if you had a rough idea about rugby, but it’s not like that now and to play at this level you need to be training hard.”
He has backed the appointment of Rise though and says he is a ‘fantastic guy’ for the job.
The new chief comes in with extensive experience having coached at Welsh and English U19 level as well as having senior coaching experience at London Welsh.
He will be helped by Craig Burgess, who has coaching experience with Wasps’ Academy.
Allen won’t be taking his hand off the coaching rudder completely though.
He has taken on a new role within the club as academy director, working closely with ex-skipper, David Choules, to continue the development of the Colts and U17s squads and help them to make the transition from junior to senior rugby – a role Allen sees as pivotal to the club’s continued progression.