Star of the Month – September 2019

Bill Carne and Sean Gale


Sean’s so proud of his Otter involvement


Sean Gale has been heavily involved at Narberth RFC in his capacity as coach for almost 15 years and in that time The Otters have always been a highly successful club playing at a high level in the Welsh set-up.

As director of coaching in the 2018/19 season he again oversaw the club competing in another campaign in the Welsh Championship and coming in a hugely creditable third place, just behind Ystrad Rhondda and runaway leaders Pontypool.

Delighted by last year’s squad’s efforts

"I was really delighted by the way that our players stuck to their task in view of the fact that we had a relatively small squad and were unable to fend off problems with injuries that might not have affected some of our rivals because their finances allowed more players and greater squad strength.

"For example, we had to travel to play Maesteg Quins in our final match having a number of key players unavailable and if we had won that we would have been runners-up. Of course we were disappointed but the fact is we won 16 out of 22 games in this very tough section.

"We also continued our policy of recruiting as many players as possible from within the county and I pay tribute to them for the way that they have become part of our set-up and done really well. Alex Jenkins joined us from Tenby a number of seasons ago and had been a terrific captain for the last three years before handing over the reins on the pitch to Ritchie Rees for 2019/20 - and now taking on the role of Ritchie's vice-captain.

Wealth of playing experience

Sean had a wealth of experience as a player with Llanelli and Bridgend, one season at Tenby United and then three years back at Parc-y-Scarlets when the Welsh regions were formulated and he became a professional player with the Scarlets.

It's a similar story with his coaching because Sean cut his teeth as player/coach at Tumble and then went back to Llanelli alongside Scott Quinnell and Neal Boobyer, with the highlight being a 25-24 win over Bridgend in the Welsh Cup

"I first came to the club after playing at that higher level with Llanelli, starting out almost 15 years ago as forwards' coach to Jonathan Dodd, who is now back as fitness/defence coach, with Deiniol Evans as an excellent assistant coach and another former player in Chris 'Cone' James as team manager.

Loves it at The Lewis Lloyd Ground

Ask Sean about Narberth RFC and he would be quick to say that after eight years he still loves it there, especially the family atmosphere where players are strongly encouraged to mingle with supporters after matches.

"Our fans and sponsors are brilliant," Sean told, "and are not afraid to tell us where we are going wrong. We also have terrific support from our committee, with ex-players like Bill Ridge, Rob 'Basher' Lewis and John Mathias involved in different ways.

"It is the same with our youth and junior sections, who are also part of the conveyor belt from the club alongside a strong recruitment policy where we are always looking for players like Tom Kaijaks Jonathan Rogers, Lewys Gibby and Alex from our county. We are hopeful that all of them will be staying for the new season, and as we speak only Jack Price is gone and centre Kieron Jones is standing down because he is retiring from the game because of other commitments!"

And finally . . .

At The Otters’ end-of-season dinner, held in the clubhouse, Sean gave his post-season report and highlighted the successes achieved and his gratitude for the support of committee, players and supporters. On the playing front the coaches’ and players’ player was prop Tom Kaijaks, the  supporters’ player was Richard Rees and the most improved player was back rower Andrew Cook.  Dan Smith also received a special award!

So then there was the chance to take a welcome break but Sean Gale is already back in action for the 2019/20 campaign at the Lewis Lloyd Ground and we wish him every success because for 15 years he has been a great ambassador for Narberth RFC and is still more than up for the challenge of keeping them in what is going to be an even tougher section this season – and we are delighted to present him with our September ‘Star of the Month’ award in recognition of all he has done!