PHIL Leck insists there will be no “quick fix” at Mansfield Park.
Hawick’s new head coach took his first training session on Tuesday night and admitted, with only one win so far this season, he had quite a challenge on his hands.
But the Englishman, who takes over from Derek Armstrong, who resigned earlier in the season, is confident he is the right man.
He told the Hawick News: “I’m under no illusions. It’s not going to be a quick fix and I can’t wave a magic wand over it.
“There is a challenge to be faced but I wouldn’t have accepted the job if I didn’t think I was up to it.”
A fly-half in his day, in and around Yorkshire, Leck, who has a level four coaching qualification, is a former head coach of Burnley RFC and has been involved with the academy and professional rugby at Sale Sharks for seven years.
He is no stranger to Scotland, though, as his son Chris Leck signed for Edinburgh Rugby in the summer.
And he revealed that, after watching his new charges in action – albeit in their heavy defeat at home to Currie – as well as viewing Greens training sessions, he can’t wait to get started.
He said: “The lads are doing everything they can, they just need a bit of direction. They’re not a million miles away and they’ve only really had one spanking this year which they can learn from.
“It’s all about getting the focus and the attitude right. I’ve spoken to Bruce [McNeil] and I’ve spoken to some senior players and they all want to do well.
“It’s not rocket science. Rugby is all about running forward, passing backwards and keeping the ball. But it also needs hard work.”
Leck has a host of Scottish Cup and Border League games before Hawick’s fight for survival begins in earnest in January, with fixtures against Edinburgh Accies, Heriot’s, Glasgow Hawks, Jed-Forest, Hamilton, Stewart’s-Melville and Watsonians.
But he said his long-term vision is about more than just staying in Premier One. “The lads want to win things,” he said. “Having spoken to them they don’t just want to survive.
“Our big target is to get back into the higher echelons of Premier One. But from my point of view I’m saying why can’t we win the Border League or the cup as well?”
During his time at Sale, Leck, who operates a coaching company and business management consultancy firm, has worked with some of the best young players around and he has refused to rule out bringing new talent into the Hawick team.
He said: “We may very well need to fetch some players in and get the finance in, but in the first instance we have got to work with the players we have.”
It is unclear how long Leck has signed up for at Mansfield Park, although the new coach, who will initially be commuting from his home just outside Burnley, said: “I’m coming to them for as long as they want me.”
On the new appointment, club president Alister Pow said: “We have got a highly qualified coach. This is a huge step for the club and I’m really chuffed with the way we’re going forward.”
Rocky Johnstone has agreed to stay on as assistant, but Jim Renwick has now left.
n Former Hawick coach Derek Armstrong has taken up a coaching role at Biggar.