Coaches Profiles

1. Head Coach

Name - Gavin Wathen

Nickname - Wath

Favourite celebrity - Morgan Freeman

Favorite rugby players - Serge Blanco and Jonah Lomu 

Why coach Ynysowen- I have been part of the set up within the club since the merge in 2000, so Ynysowen is very close to my heart. I have seen many highs and many lows over the years and nothing suprises me.

I have been given the opportunity to step up to head coach which I am looking forward to. I am so pleased that arguably the best players Ynysowen have had ( Vinny and Chunk )  have agreed to come on board with me and Pykey. Both new coaches know the club inside and out and both know what it takes to get the winning mentality back. Most importantly its about getting the club back on the map and ofcourse playing a good standard of rugby. Here's to a great season and lets see where we end up.


2. Team Manager

Name - Andrew Pyke

Nickname - Pykey

Favourite celebrity - Sir Tom Jones

Favourite rugby players - Neil Jenkins and Sam Warburton

Why coach Ynysowen- I've played 8 years for Aberfan and the first two years with Ynysowen before injury forced my retirement. I have coached within the mini, junior and youth section of the club and picked up tips and advice all through my coaching career sofar. I feel  great about the prospect of coaching again this season and am excited about the potential within the group of players. I am looking foward to working with Gavin Wathen again this season. Regarding the two new coaches I look forward to listening to their new ideas a fresh pair of eyes I feel will make a huge difference. I have seen Gerwyn play almost all of his career and I have coached him for 4 years I respect him immensely as a rugby player and a person. Vinny is another player I have coached through his youth days and is another player/person I respect. I am pleased that two top ex players have agreed to coach this season.

I think this will be the first time the club has a coaching set up of solely home grown players and I believe with the knowledge and experience we have the limits are endless. I am eager to get started working with Gavin, Vinny, Gerwyn all the players and the committee.


3. Backs Coach

Name - Gavin Richards 

Nickname - Vin or Vinny 

Favorite celebrity - Ant Middleton 

Favourite rugby players - Ritchie McCaw and Gareth Edwards

Why coach Ynysowen- Because I want to improve the fortunes on the playing side of the club and create a positive culture. I have been around the club for 15+ years through some highs and lows and know what these boys will feel when winning and losing. I am honoured to be asked by Gavin, who i respect greatly to help the team succeed.

It wont be easy, but it will be enjoyable. It does require commitment from the players and everyone involved in the club. Ultimately its about winning, but first and foremost we need to develop good, smart rugby players. There's enough talent in the squad to do that if each player believes in themselves.

I'm looking forwarding to getting started and hopefully the players are too.


4. Forwards Coach

Name - Gerwyn Davies

Nickname - Chunk

Favourite celebrity - Ricky Gervais and the Rock

Favourite rugby players - Gethin Jenkins and Dan Carter

Why coach Ynysowen- After being involved with the club since I was 5 years old in a playing and coaching capacity, I was delighted to be able to offer my services as forwards coach for the coming season. I'm excited to get going with the new set up and looking forward to working with the pack to develop their skills and implement the new game plan we want to put in place.

I am very passionate about Ynysowen and will give my all to get the sharks climbing up the table. I know what it takes to win in this league and know the skill set and ability of the team very well. I have exciting ideas to bring to the lads and if every person buys into the new ideas and shows the right attitude and commitment we will succeed. I truely believe we can achieve great things together this season and I have faith in the squad. 


Matthew Cook Webmaster