GLASGOW HAWKS have announced that stalwart prop Steven Findlay has joined the coaching team at the club after being forced to retire from playing due to a hand injury suffered near the start of the current season.
The loose-head prop joined Hawks from Dalziel ahead of the 2010-11 season and has been described by president Kenny Hamilton as “the beating heart” of the club.
The 32-year-old had a period as a full-time professional with Glasgow Warriors during the 2015-16 season, then headed to Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs for a season playing Shute Shield, before bringing the experience and expertise gained from those two assignments back to Hawks for the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
After being sidelined through injury last September, Findlay took a proactive role in assisting former head coach Fin Gillies as Hawks battled through various trials and tribulations during the recently finished season, and he is delighted to be formalising his position under incoming head coach Andy Hill.
“I’m looking forward to being able to solely focus on coaching in the forthcoming season,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the new squad coming together and pushing each individual to be the best player they can be.
“The thumb is still giving me trouble and I won’t be in the position to take physical contact on it until August. I was off work for five months and can’t risk injuring it again,” explained the electrician, when explaining his decision to hang up his boots.
Findlay cited former Hawks coaches Jimmy Sinclair and Jamie Dempsey, as well Dan McFarland during his time at Glasgow Warriors, as key influences in his coaching philosophy.
“Jimmy worked with me relentlessly and gave me belief, Jamie’s training sessions were always enjoyable and is a guy who everyone would really work hard for,” he explained.
“Learning from environments that were much faster, attack focused and physical compared to the Premiership has taught me the importance of being technically astute and incredibly fit,” he added. “Dan McFarland taught me how to look forward to playing in a much more technical way. I learned the importance of being switched on to take everything on board and still play with accuracy. Knowing your role and effectively carrying it out whilst under pressure is a massive part of the modern game. I look forward to bringing this to Hawks.”
Old friends act
Hill, who was elevated last week from an assistant role to Hawks head coach in place of Heriot’s-bound Gillies, goes back a long way with Findlay.
“I have known and played with and against him since we were about eight-years-old,” explained Hill. “We know each other inside out and neither of us will shirk from saying something to one another. Steven’s honesty and integrity are two of his best characteristics and I’m sure the work-ethic he had as a player will be seen in his transition into coaching.”
President Hamilton also welcomed the appointment. “As a highly respected club international prop, Steven has already demonstrated the kind of application to hard work that is required to be a success,” he said. “Now he has the opportunity to encourage the same application in others to make the most of their talent. He will add technical knowledge and experience. It is not over stating it to say he is the beating heart of Hawks.”
“We’re fortunate that someone of Steven’s experience and calibre has already been a key part of the Hawks environment. Having him assisting Hilly will ensure important continuity but, more importantly, from this season we know them to be a formidable coaching combination.”
Cub captain Stephen Leckey added: “Steven is hugely respected at the club and he has earned this from many years leading Hawks on the pitch. It is great that the club has secured his services as a coach. He’ll be a great role model for new and existing players, showing them what it means to be a Glasgow Hawk.”