PHIL Osman has been appointed the new director of rugby and head coach at Tottonians RFC for the upcoming season.
He takes the helm at the Totton-based club that finished sixth in the London Two South West Division last season.
Phil also played for Newbury and Nottingham and spent several years playing and coaching in the USA for Beacon Hill RFC.
The majority of his career was spent playing for Henley Hawks RFC during their highly successful period in the early 2000s, achieving numerous promotions while playing an ambitious style of rugby, in the earlier coaching strategy of former England World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward.
The club rose to the heights of the Championship and Phil went from player to the first-team backs coach.
In a statement on the Tottonians website, Osman said that he feels that the club has similar aspirations and that talks with chairman Wayne Hausen and the staff have been positive. He said: “I’m hugely excited about the next phase of my rugby life.
“I’ve been very impressed so far by the obvious off-field organisation and commitment shown. Wayne has made it very clear what my role is expected to be. I’ve briefly met the other coaches and several senior players, either in person or via Zoom, and it’s obvious that the club’s ambitions and desires are on a par with my own.
“I’d describe myself as a hard taskmaster and a highly-driven and competitive coach. I expect high standards of myself and demand them from my players. Although I know rugby is about having fun, in my experience, it’s winning that actually brings the fun.
“Every coach that comes into a new club always talks about hoping to play an open and expansive style of rugby, but as we all know, that very much depends on the skill level, size, shape and intelligence of the personnel you have available, and very often, as a coach, you have to cut your cloth accordingly.”
Osman added that he would seek promotion to London One South West under his tenure. He said: “Every senior player knows it’s a clean slate. It’s not a case of trying to reinvent the wheel, as Totts clearly have a lot of capable players, but I take a lot of pride in my ability to develop players both individually and collectively.
“Although I’m now arriving at the club in these particularly strange times, and the start of pre-season may require more patience and understanding from everyone, the biggest challenge is to try and get a buy-in from the whole club, not just the 18 guys representing the first team on any given Saturday.
“That buy-in has to come from the top, and I know it’s my job to inspire, push and enthuse those around me to demand the work rate, ambition and improvement from everyone to achieve a collective goal. That goal has to be promotion to London 1 SW.”
Osman added to his message to the Tottonians: “Thank you for the warm welcome, and I look forward to getting to meet you, to get to know you and to share a few beers with you all over the coming seasons.”