Bath fans were left shocked today when head coached Todd Blackadder announced he will be leaving the club at the end of the season to join Japanese outfit Toshiba.
The former Crusaders boss joined the west country outfit in 2016, but has failed to reach the playoffs during his time at the Rec. Bath are unlikely to make the top four this season, leaving fans to question whether any progress has been made during Blackadder’s tenure at Bath.
When he took over, Blackadder’s team had experienced some success in the seasons prior, having made the final in 2015. His arrival brought a huge amount of promise, but some fans feel that hope never came to fruition. Bath have looked encouraging at times, but have equally looked bereft of a style or identity under Blackadder.
This is what the fans have said:
Well that was a few years of no progression
— charles Bartlett (@bartles77) April 17, 2019
The right time. Club has not moved forward whatsoever on the pitch under TB.
— William Quibell (@WillQuibes) April 17, 2019
Huge huge thanks to Todd for all his efforts in his time at Bath. Perhaps not most successful period he had wanted but his effort and dedication was clear to see. Best of luck for his new start in Japan
— Hugh Walker (@HughWalker15) April 17, 2019
Def the right time… As a fellow Kiwi it pains me to say it but the progression just hasn’t been there…
— Steve George (@LEGALBEAGLEOK) April 17, 2019
Good luck Todd. I know the players on the pitch have to deliver your vision, but probably the right time for a fresh approach. You will be missed.
— Danny Davis (@Dannythebike) April 17, 2019
Probably right for both parties.
— James Graber (@JamesGraber) April 17, 2019
Good decision tbh – time for a new direction for @bathrugby – Gatland!!!
— ? Genius J. ? (@jxs606) April 17, 2019
Sometimes it doesn't work out. Hope both Bath and Todd kick on from here. ???
— Chef Noel Bartlett (@noelbartle55) April 17, 2019
Blackadder was due to leave the Rec at the end of next season, with Stuart Hooper set to take over then. Now it looks like the former Bath lock will take over the reins from next season, as both the fans and Blackadder probably felt that it was the right time to move on.
Furthermore, Bath have not been particularly successful in recruiting new faces ahead of next season, and that may have been a contributing factor in Blackadder’s departure. Either he was not happy with the club’s lack of recruitment, or the club were not happy with him, but it makes sense that they are parting ways at the end of the season.
Bath currently sit in seventh place in the Premiership, five points from fourth placed Harlequins with three games remaining. They can theoretically make the top four this season, although it would be a push, and judging Blackadder’s track record at the Rec over the past three years, that does not seem likely.
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