NEW FACE: Development officer Andy Reynolds is aiming to get more people playing rugby
NEW FACE: Development officer Andy Reynolds is aiming to get more people playing rugby

A NEW development officer has joined Barnard Castle RUFC in an effort to attract more youngsters to rugby and the club.
Andy Reynolds, who is a rugby development officer at the Newcastle Rugby Foundation – run by the city’s Premiership team the Falcons – will work with Barney and has already begun sessions at Teesdale School.
This week he was due to start working with students at Staindrop Academy.
He plans to set up after-school clubs and introduce those who take to the game to Barney Rugby Club, which offers age group training from U7s to senior level.
Mr Reynolds boasts a wealth of coaching experience. He is a former head of rugby at Gateshead College and has coached club rugby at Consett, Medicals, Heaton and Gateshead.
He has also coached an international 7s team called The Wailers.
Barney RUFC received funding from the Falcons, Teesdale Action Partnership (TAP) and the club’s own sponsors and supporters to secure Mr Reynolds’ services as part of his work with the foundation for two years.
Mr Reynolds said: “I know Barnard Castle RUFC having coached opposition sides and historically, Barney has always been a strong club. I am excited to be involved.
“The goal would be to develop the next wave of players. It’s getting kids into it and teaching them the core values of rugby – teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.”
Barney RUFC chairman David Jackson said action was needed as the club was “a bit thin on the ground” post-Covid.
He said: “Along with a lot of clubs, the pandemic left us thin on the ground and we took the decision the club needed to ‘grow our own’ to get people involved.
“We’ve been able to employ Andy thanks to the generosity of the Falcons, TAP, our own sponsors and club members.
“Andy is a crucial part of building out of Covid.”
Mr Jackson said the club offered players the chance to go as far as they could in the game.
“Don’t think that because it is a small club, you can't develop. We have Jake Metcalfe who is now in the Falcons Academy and the England U18s.”
Parents and supporters were also urged to “spread the word” about the rugby club and what it offered. Mr Reynolds was introduced to club members and players at a launch event on Sunday which was followed by an U15s girls development festival featuring Barney Gatorz plus teams from Mowden Park, Gateshead and Ryton.