“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”
As announced by Chris himself on Saturday, this will be his last game as Coach, and whilst he looks to the future, it is only proper we reflect back on his contribution.
In many ways, it feels like we are entering phase 3 of our club’s life. Phase 1: the first 75 years taking us up until 1999. Phase 2: the club years or maybe they should be known as the ‘Hyndman’ years for the following 18. Chris’s influence on this club spans the early years as well as the recent years; being one of our first mini’s and going onto to play rugby for England U18s and U20s. I was only 2 years into my time as club Chairman when the opportunity presented itself to have Chris join us a player/coach. Now I’m no Steve Gibson, and he’s no Bryan Robson, but the parallels are what Chris brought to this club! Apart from his obvious talent as player honed from 5 years at Northampton Saints, his maturity as a young 20 something was for all to see. He brought structure, commitment, an exciting style of play but above all a wining mentality. I have spoken with Chris, and despite two promotions, our first Intermediate and Senior County Cups, including a double winning year, his greatest achievement has been to get the best from the players he has had to work with. We don’t pay players and whilst we are not professional in terms of payment, he brought a level of professionalism typically seen at clubs at a higher level. We have had some talented players, but in the main, it’s has been his ability to build a team, a winning team and instilling belief that has helped us achieve all that has occurred, culminating in the best-ever season in our club’s history. Many players, current and past have a lot to thank Chris for.
There is never a good time to call a journey to an end, but this season in every way seems the perfect time for Chris and our club to go onto our next phase. Chris, will remain involved and has agreed to stay on as Director of Rugby, focusing on playing strategy as well as player and coach development. I look forward to the next phase of our life, our AGP, our centenary in 7 years, as well as seeing our new players and young coaches develop under Chris’ watchful eye. But today is about saying thank you to a young man who has taken this club from being just a team in Teesside, to the No.1 team in Teesside and helping us achieve our vision of being one of the leading family clubs in the North. Today is about saying THANK YOU to CHRIS HYNDMAN. Thank for the memories we have to look back on and thank you for the future that is to come.
Updated 16:34 - 13 Aug 2017 by Mark Armstrong