Skins coach reflects on ‘fantastic’ first season

POSITIVE...Enniskillen manager Alasdair McKee

POSITIVE…Enniskillen manager Alasdair McKee

THEIR last remaining hope of silverware may have ended in  agonising defeat Towns Cup defeat, but Enniskillen rugby coach Alasdair McKee has seen plenty of positives from his first season in charge and believes solid foundations are in place for the seasons to come.

Speaking first about the Towns Cup Semi-final defeat to City of Derry, Alasdair reflected on one that got away.

“With the excellent form we took into the game it wasn’t a question of confidence, it might just have been on the day a bit of experience told. If we played that game 10 times we would win it more than five.

“On the day it was just a number of small things which made the difference. Collectively we didn’t look after the breakdown well enough and they slowed the ball down.

“Their game plan was to slow down our ball and we didn’t deal with that well enough, but you have to give City of Derry credit for that.

“Semi-finals are a different proposition and we will be better for our two defeats and we now have that experience under our belts.”

Despite the defeat Alasdair feels the team have come a long way over the course of the season.

“It has been a successful season as far as I’m concerned. It is particularly pleasing how we have progressed. In the early part of the season we worked on our defence and made ourselves hard to beat which showed when we went 10 games unbeaten.

“Then we had a wee blip, which came out of us trying to add a bigger attacking edge to our game. We got caught out a little at Lisburn and Randalstown and it took us to Christmas to get that added dimension.

“After that we played some great attacking rugby and people were coming up to me and saying it was entertaining and good to watch. That progression has been wonderful to witness.”

All in all it has been, in his own words, a “fantastic” first season for Alasdair, who has enjoyed every minute since he took over the reigns.

“Even when we were getting beaten, we were never getting badly beaten. There was always potential in every performance. Half a dozen young players have come through this season and there is massive potential there for the future.”

While many may already have an eye on next season Alasdair is quick to stress the importance of the remaining three fixtures and hopes to continue their good form into the end of the campaign.

“It is vitally important to carry our form through. The last three games are preparation for the next season and are almost like the first three games of the next season.”

When the season does end Alasdair hopes to add a few fresh faces to the squad and plans to go one better next season.

“We’re looking at winning a trophy next year, whatever that is, it doesn’t matter. We also want to maintain a strong league position. If we are in the shake-up of things in the league at this time next year we will have done well and hopefully the experience we have gained from this season will help us improve even more as a team.”