The Camels Rugby Union Club has appointed Len Baker as their new coach with club president Stephen Gillette confident his fellow Kiwi is well suited to the role.
Baker’s approach to rugby and coaching is all about passion for the game and perfection when it comes to training and playing.
Baker grew up playing rugby (he got his first rugby boots at age two) and later played at representative level.
“Most of my rugby was at No 8 or Flanker,” Baker told The Cobar Weekly.
For a number of years Baker had a captain/
co-coaching role and after he’d retired from playing he continued on as an assistant coach.
This is his first opportunity as a head coach.
“I’m a perfectionist. I’ll watch a game and work out what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong and work on that,” he said.
Baker plans to video training sessions and games to help get his message across.
He has a detailed written plan and training commenced the first weekend of January,
“We’ve been working on rucking and mauling and now defence and tackling. We’ll go to scrummaging and then a bit of line out.
“All the way through we’ve covered a lot of simple back moves to make it sink in so that when it comes to game day it’s all automatic, they don’t have to think about it.”
“The team is doing simulation drills that will get them more ready for the game. You can run and sprint—you can be fit, but you need to be game fit,” is Baker’s philosophy.
Baker’s goals is to get to the finals.
“Because we have shift workers it’s going to be a hard task, but once we get into the finals I’ll be requesting that we have our strongest team every weekend.”
Gillette said he’s pleased with the progress Baker has made with players to date and was also pleased that the club had been able to recruit eight new players in the off season.
The team trains Tuesday and Thursday nights at Alisa Fitzsimmons Memorial Oval.