MURRAYFIELD WANDERERS have appointed Derek O’Riordan as their new head coach, with Caine McIntyre and Ally Chalmers as his assistants.
All three worked together at Edinburgh Accies in recent years, with O’Riordan in the Raeburn Place hot-seat before stepping down last month. The Stockbridge club struggled in their return to the Premiership during the 2018-19 campaign and ultimately finished bottom of the table, but showed great resilience to claim a few significant scalps towards the end of the season.
O’Riordan and McIntyre’s coaching relationship stretches back to their days together at Dunfermline between 2013 and 2015, before switching to Edinburgh Accies. Chalmers was briefly involved at Accies and is a former stalwart player and club captain with Wanderers.
It has been a tumultuous period in the long history of Murrayfield Wanderers, with the SRU calling time on their long-standing tenancy in the national stadium campus last year in order to pursue development opportunities on the back pitches which are yet to materialise. Wanderers are now operating out of neighbouring Roseburn Public Park whilst using a room in Murrayfield Ice Rink as their clubhouse.
O’Riordan – who is in the process of competing his UKCC Level 4 coaching qualification – says he has been impressed and inspired by how the club has dealt with this difficult situation.
“From the chats I’ve had with Wandies, they have a lot that they can feel hard done by, and how the club has responded is commendable,” he said. “Despite their challenges off-field, they finished fifth in National Three this season, and I am looking forward to helping the club build the infrastructure around the squad to kick on and fulfil their ambitions to climb the national leagues.
“It will be nice to sharpen the tools again and get more hands on with developing players and the team of coaches I have put together.”
Alex Godsmark will continue as the club’s 1st XV captain.
“We are very pleased to have secured the services of this coaching team and we look forward to building on our fifth place in National Three last season whilst continuing to establish ourselves in Roseburn Park,” said a club spokesman.
“The club would like to formally record its thanks to Ian Jeffrey and Mark Bennett, who are both standing down, for their outstanding work last season which has laid the foundations for Derek and the team to build on.”