Nottingham Outlaws’ search for a new coach ended this week when they announced the return of Joe Shepherd to the role of first team coach. Shepherd picks up the reins ahead of the final league game of the season against Toll Bar on Saturday and will mastermind recruitment and pre-season preparations ahead of the 2023 league campaign.
Coach Shepherd is no stranger to the role, having coached the Outlaws to Conference League glory back in 2015 but then immediately stood down after masterminding the club to victory. In subsequent years coach Shepherd remained at the heart of the coaching activities at the Outlaws under the role of Performance Director focusing on a number of aspects including coaching the Academy and Juniors as well as holding down the role of Head Coach at both Nottingham Universities
Despite only being in the role a few days, Shepherd was quick to point out where his focus would be adding “I’m extremely excited to be taking the coaching reins again. I already have plans to revamp the club’s coaching structure in order to become more integrated with our coaching philosophies for the men’s and women’s sections, and development of a consistent ethos across all of our senior teams. Looking forward to working alongside the other senior coaches Roy Reeve, Stewart Readhead and Mark Stockman and the hard work starts now “.
Chairman Rich Johnson was more than happy with securing the appointment of Shepherd adding “We have known for some time that our previous coach Adam Cunliffe would in all likelihood be stepping up to Super league duties at Leeds Rhinos so finding a replacement has been at the top of our agenda for a few weeks now. When Joe announced that he was throwing his hat into the ring it didn’t take us long to give him the nod of approval. His pedigree as a rugby league coach is as good as it gets and I for one can’t wait to see how the team shape up in the months ahead and more importantly, at the start of the 2023 campaign”