In the 2017 spring season, his first as head coach for the Glendale Raptors rugby club, David Williams was nearly perfect. The Raptors finished the spring with a sparkling 10-1 record, remaining unbeaten until their final match. The result was as strong as Williams could have hoped for in his first season as the head man at Infinity Park.
Williams joined Mile High Sports to review the spring season and discuss the many positive takeaways so far in his first year at the helm.
“It’s really about the players we assembled for this team and how they’ve gelled together,” Williams said. “We’ve got a good mix of professional players who train with the team full time and also the players that have careers and have to juggle that family life, that work life and also their rugby life. I can’t speak high enough of those players. Also my assistant coach, the grounds crew, everything just came together and we produced performances that were necessary to keep Glendale rolling as one of the best teams in the U.S.”
Those victories that made Glendale one the nation’s best teams this year created a buzz in the rugby community. Paired with his coaching ideals, Williams noticed an environment coming about that has more people wanting to become involved.
“I’m judged on my performance, and I’m a big believer that you have to go through the process to get those victories,” Williams said. “There’s also how the players respond, and now we’ve got a lot more players who want to join Glendale because of the environment that is being created here. Just how they train during the week, how they train each day, and that just inspires more people to want to come out and play for us. It’s great for longterm development of the Glendale Raptors.”
Despite the loss in the final game of the spring season, Williams is encouraged about the team’s reaction to the loss and what that means for the future of the Raptors.
“The players appreciated it,” Williams said in reference to film study after the loss. “They stood up and realized where they went wrong and where we went wrong as a team. It gets at that hunger, it goes into the offseason and we train a little bit harder. It definitely stings and I’m still disappointed, as are the players, but we’ll get over it and we’ll walk into the offseason and get well-prepared for the upcoming fall season.”
Listen to the full interview with Williams, including some of the events that the Raptors have coming up before the fall season, in the podcast below.
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Featured Image Credit: Glendale Raptors