Experienced Eric Strachan plots a change of fortunes at Aberdeen Grammar

New head coach inherits a team which has suffered back to back relegations from Premiership to National Two

Eric Strachan is the new head coach at Aberdeen Grammar. Image: Aberdeen Grammar
Eric Strachan is the new head coach at Aberdeen Grammar. Image: Aberdeen Grammar


ABERDEEN GRAMMAR have turned to an experienced local coach, hoping to put behind them the horrors of the last two seasons in which they have been relegated twice, and now face life in National League Two.

Eric Strachan, a former player and coach at Aberdeenshire, is the man tasked with bringing respectability back to the 130 year old club, who were pushing to win the Premiership just 20 years, only to stumble in the run in. The Rubislaw men were in the top flight of Scottish club rugby as recently as 2022, but then a disastrous run of form, when the won only three of their 18 games, led to them dropping through the trapdoor.

Despite the high expectations of many n the Granite City, the club fared no better in National League One last season, and after winning only three out of 22 were again relegated, along with Stewarts Melville and Stirling County, making for a bad season for the Caledonian area.

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Strachan, 53 said;”My target will be to consolidate in the top half of the league, although the perfect scenario would be promotion. There is work going on behind the scenes in a bid to restore the status of this fine club. Nothing excites me more than to see under age rugby being developed. I hope this will be the case at Rubislaw.

“I am also pleased that John Stewart is to continue as team manager, while it’s already clear to that club captain Jack Burnett is very much hands-on, as is his father, Kevin, who will continue in the post of director of rugby. I will also have the support of Greig Ryan and Nat Coe in the coaching team.”

Those in Aberdeen who hanker for greater co-operation among clubs will no doubt be encouraged by the appointment of Strachan who has had coaching spells at not only Shire, but also coached at Deesde, Garioch and Gordonians during his 24 years coaching career in the area has

Internally, it is clear that Strachan’s appointment is welcomed, as reflected by Kevin Burnett. ”I am delighted Eric is taking on the lead role at the club,” he said. “I look forward to working with him.”

Strachan has not yet met the players, but as a skilled communicator he is sure to be warmly welcomed by the generally young squad who will be keen to impress their new head coach.

”I am a people person who likes to to communicate,” he added. “I already enjoy a good relationship with the local press which is always useful. On the field of play, I aim to make players five per cent better players.

“I believe in player development, something I will be concentrating on in my time at Rubislaw, which I hope will be a long and productive spell.”

The new man in the Rubislaw hot-seat also stressed that he views the long bus trips facing the team next season to the likes of Berwick, Dumfries and Peebles as an opportunity rather than a burden.

”They are all part of the job, and a great chance to bond,” he reasoned. “Our shortest journey across the road to Countesswells where we meet derby rivals Gordonians is an exciting one, but I look forward to them all.”

After two years of misery, it looks like Grammar players are about to enjoy a whole new experience and hopefully at the right end of the table for their long suffering supporters.

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About Jack Nixon 67 Articles
Jack is a Borderer, born in Langholm, and a graduate of Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh. He was a founder member of Livingston Rugby Club in 1968 and has been rugby correspondent for the Aberdeen Press and Journal since 1997. He has been going to Murrayfield man and boy since 1954!

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