Chiefs coach steps down earlier than planned

Honiton rugby action

Honiton rugby action - Credit: Archant

Mark Beavis has been explaining his reasons for standing down as Sidmouth coach a year earlier than planned, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Beavis said when he was appointed in the summer of 2014 he would do three seasons and no more – and he had a timetable he wanted to achieve.

Year one was to improve results after two years of struggle that included relegation from South West One. That box was ticked.

Year two was all about consolidating and preparing a squad to push for promotion in year three.

It didn’t go to plan in year two as injuries and player departures caused havoc. Sidmouth ended up where fighting to stay up.


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Beavis, who has been commuting from Newton Abbot to Sidmouth twice a week for coaching sessions, considered his position during the close season.

Having talked things over with Sidmouth officials, Beavis decided to stay.

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Having got through the pre-season phase, Beavis decided it was time to go and informed Sidmouth officials of his decision.

“There are a number of reasons, such as the traveling, for coaching and away matches, and other things going on in my life,” said Beavis.

“I am wholehearted about everything I do in rugby, but when something in your private life becomes a priority it is hard to give both your full attention.

“I didn’t achieve all my goals at Sidmouth, but one of them was to leave the club in a better place and I feel I have done that.

“Sidmouth now have Tom Whelan coaching with Shaun Mason, who I was able to bring down from Chiefs, and they are more than capable of moving the club on.

“My aim was to get Sidmouth into a promotion or play-off position in year three – and with the players who have joined or rejoined the club this season they are capable of that.

“I shall be looking out for their results and hoping they do finish near the top. In a funny sort of way, that will be my objective achieved.”

Beavis said he had enjoyed nothing but support from the club committee and chairman Lester Wilmington during his time at Heydon’s Lane.

“Sidmouth is a proper rugby club that still has many of the old-fashioned values missing from the game nowadays and I enjoyed my time there hugely,” said Beavis.

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