Bath have recently announced their new coaching staff ahead of next season, and it has left many fans worried on social media.
After current head coach Todd Blackadder announced a few weeks ago his departure from the club at the end of the season, former captain Stuart Hooper has been announced as the new director of rugby.
Hooper will be joined by former Ireland international Girvan Dempsey, who has been their attack coach over the past year, and Luke Charteris as lineout coach, who is retiring from playing at the end of the season.
Current England scrum coach Neal Hatley will also arrive at the club as forwards coach after the World Cup, to return to the role he had before he joined the national setup.
The main concern that many fans have is that these coaches seem to be relatively raw in the world of coaching compared to the vastly experienced Blackadder and Toby Booth, who will also leave at the end of the season.
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While Hatley will provide the most experience, he will be joining towards the end of 2019, meaning he misses an entire pre-season with the club.
Charteris was a fine international player, with 74 caps to his name. However, that does not necessarily mean he is suited for the job yet, particularly with Hooper being a novice as the director of rugby.
While Dempsey has a bit more experience as the attack coach of European giants Leinster before he joined Bath, that still does not seem to outweigh the inexperience of his team.
Many Bath fans are showing their concern over the season ahead on Twitter, and this is what they are saying:
Not confident that this will see an upturn in results and consistency for next season. Lack of experience to my mind and had hoped for someone more proven. Time will tell.
— Grant Christie (@gdc1975) May 7, 2019
No head coach and a bunch of rookies alongside Hats and Dempsey ….. roll that dice!
— Matt Hutton (@M_Hutton) May 7, 2019
Long season ahead…
— Mark McCarthy (@Macca1000bath) May 7, 2019
Much as I like him and think he’d be good in the future, i think it’s too soon and that another couple of years as understudy would prepare him better for what is a very important role in English rugby.
— CakeDan (@CakeDan5) May 7, 2019
not sure I quite know what to say TBH. I was expecting an experienced, ex-Bath ( Borthwick?) to come in as DOR to work with Hoops, who would continue as GM. Glad to see Hat's back, however I am just left underwhelmed. Is this a world class coaching structure?? Time will tell.
— Manwithoddshapedballs (@Manwithoddshap1) May 7, 2019
Looking forward to another season of disappointment and underachieving, whilst the likes of Sarries continue to breed success.
— HERSH (@OneShow100) May 7, 2019
Tenner on bath to be relegated
— Ricky Jones (@rickyjoneshere) May 7, 2019
Like Tigers this year.
— Briar (@BriarBradshaw) May 7, 2019
Bath currently sit in sixth place in the Premiership table with one game remaining, meaning they are set to play in the Champions Cup next season should they win their final match. That will mean that Hooper’s first season in charge will be a testing one, played against the best in Europe.
Additionally, Bath have not made the recruitment drive on the field that some supporters would have wanted, which is only another reason why some fans are not optimistic about next season.
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