Wednesday 5 February 2014

Accies' Centre of Excellence - season 2013/14 update

This season's ACE sessions started back in September and have been running on the last Monday of each month since then. We have had around 40 to 60 players involved in the programme this year which has been great.

The two most important tenets of ACE are:

  • it is the player’s choice if they want to attend the session; and
  • it is based around individual and unit development.

At the first ACE session every player was asked to self-reflect on their game, outlining the positives, areas for development within their game and sharing their rugby ambition. Ambitions varied from winning the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Cup to playing international rugby and becoming a British Lion. Make no mistake, it is important for our young players to have ambition.

The structure of our sessions this season is based around 45 minute individual and unit workshops, where each player has been assigned to a coaching group that best fits the skill set for their position. For example, the hookers have been practicing their throwing and scrummaging with Michael Liness and the props have been practicing lifting technique in the line out and scrummaging with Duncan MacLeod. We then look to move the session onto game related practices where the players are challenged by using their skills in pressurised situations, whilst at the same time always ensuring there is a fun element to the session.

We are now looking to develop our ACE programme for the 16 years plus group, linking them to Edinburgh University for strength and conditioning coaching under the guidance of Phil Maguire, Strength & Conditioning Coach at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh Accies.

As ever, this programme relies on the volunteers who give up their valuable free time (no matter what the weather) to give these players a positive experience and I thank them sincerely for their steadfast support.

I would also like to thank the legendary 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron who are part of the RAF Reserves for the use of their facilities.

If you would like to receive more information on the ACE Programme please contact:

Iain Berthinussen
Rugby Development Officer
M: 0783 469 2823 E:

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