Early signs promising for new West of Scotland coach Gavin Blackburn

Gavin  Blackburn is hoping to lead West to success (pic: John Cameron).
Gavin Blackburn is hoping to lead West to success (pic: John Cameron).

New West of Scotland coach Gavin Blackburn says the club’s progressive pathway for young talent was a major factor in persuading him to take the job.

The former Glasgow Warriors player and Biggar and Stirling County coach had been planning to retire from coaching during the summer.

But a conversation with West development manager Millan Brown convinced him to give it a shot at Burnbrae.

And with four league and cup wins out of four so far, that’s already looking like the right move for both Blackburn and West.

Blackburn said: “I didn’t have a great experience coaching in the Premiership last year and was pretty scunnered with it all.

“But I just got chatting with Millan. I’ve known him for a long time and he gave me his perspective on how we would like to take things forward.”

Blackburn is excited at the chance to develop young players at West and two of last season’s under-18 side - Matthew Irvine and Dylan Matthews - have already made their first XV debuts.

Blackburn said: “These two kids have come in which is testament to Millan and how he coaches and not looked out of place at all.

“There are some clubs who are hell bent on spending astronomical amounts of money and not developing young players. That to me is wrong.

“But I have agreed to commit to the club for three seasons because I see the infrastructure that’s in place, I see the talent that we have both in the senior section and what’s coming through from the under-18s.

“I think everybody was a bit down [after relegation], but I’m very pleased with how we’ve started and how hard the boys are working.”