Having ended a 17-year career at Saracens, new Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson has written an open letter to the club, its players and the fans upon his departure from the club:
It’s with a heavy heart after a month of introspection and consideration I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you and farewell to my Saracens Family members.
To say ‘I love’ the organisation, the supporters, and my friends within it that make it so special would be an understatement. Saracens has been my life, and in many ways has shaped my life so indelibly that wherever I go from now on, a part of me will forever be a Saracen.
There are many accolades that we have achieved over the years, and belting nights out to boot, though ironically, it’s been on the occasions that we have had to steel ourselves, players and fans alike, and bond tighter together through all the hardships that I am most proud of.
To my peers…
First Brendan Venter then Mark McCall, have been mentors that have shown me the way, supported me, and given me the space to grow into the coach and person that my own father is proud of today. Most importantly they’ve been my friends and will forever remain so.
As for the rest of them, that being Shawsy, Peely, Kev, DV, Phil, Powelly, Jonesy and Slinger we have been lucky enough to have liked, known and worked together for a combined period of 125 years! A feat deserving a spot in the Guiness book of records – failing that, at the very least, a sure sign that it’s the strength of long-lasting relationships that truncate the core of all that is special about the club.
To such end, it would be remiss of me not to mention the massive contribution of the rest of the team behind the team, the S+C staff, Laura and her medical team, George, Warrick, Amelia and Nate. Thank you.
To the players…
Those legends who have moved on and those that remain, some of whom I’ve known since they were kids, seen them grow into impressive strong adults and on to become husbands and fathers – it’s difficult to express my appreciation for the trust, friendship and effort you have shown over the years.
Through our experiences together I am now rarely surprised, but always inspired on every occasion that you have been weighed and measured but never found wanting…
To Dominic Silvester…
A true-blue legend, a man of seemingly endless generosity, and another person who I consider a friend for life, thank you for your council and rock like support.
And finally, to the Wray family…
‘Thank you’ said in as many ways – as many times as I can muster doesn’t begin to cut it. I still have the letter that Nigel wrote to me welcoming me to the club 17 years ago.
It was Nigel who invested in me first as a player, then as a coach – Nigel who gave me the opportunity to make something out of myself and so it is with all sincerity when I say I will be forever grateful for all that you have done, and Lucy continues to do.
Long live the Wolfpack,
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