Paul Marshall relishing new role with Ulster

Paul Marshall has taken his first steps into coaching with the Ulster Women’s team.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 10:00 am
Ulster Women’s coach Paul Marshall. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Capped three time by Ireland, and with over 200 caps for Ulster Marshall is hoping his experience can help the Women during the Interpro series.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said.

“I hadn’t had much experience in women’s rugby outside of watching a few games.

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“I’d never been involved in the coaching outside of doing a wee bit of scrum-half work with Amy Davis and Imogen Porter once or twice but that was a long time ago.

“It’s nice to be involved, Neill Alcorn had mentioned to me about coming on board and I was excited to learn from him and work with him but also to see the game from another perspective. It’s something I’ve really enjoyed.

“I think as a scrum-half, you’re naturally drawn into the middle of the game and you see an awful lot, but just because you’ve played at a certain level, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be a good coach.

“I think I probably thought that I should test the water a bit and see how I get on with it.

“I do enjoy it and hopefully I’m able to impart some knowledge with whatever team I’m involved in, whether it be with the ladies or whether it be at the school.

“I think it’s certainly been enjoyable and it’s been great to learn from the others in the set-up.

“You never stop learning from whatever environment you’re in.

“It keeps me in that loop with what’s happening in coaching and hopefully helps me to improve as well.”

As a coach Marshall wants to carve out his own style.

“For me I think people have to enjoy what they are doing,” he said.

“I think a big thing in coaching is the whole player management side of things.

“I can think back to certain coaches that made you feel that you were at the top of the mountain and flying.

“And I can think back to other coaches who at times made you think you were at the bottom of the mountain and you had a lot of work to do.

“It is being honest but also trying to do it in a way that give people the chance to still shine and perform well.

“It is trying to make people feel that they have ability and give them the confidence to go out and play and enjoy themselves.

“If you do that and go out and win it is much easier than coming off the back of a big defeat, that’s quite tricky.

“This week we haven’t been particularly hard in our demeanour, we’re encouraging we want the team to play well and to try and express themselves.

“We think as coaches and as a team we didn’t get to that level on Saturday (losing 50-5 to Munster), and it is a exciting thing that we have still got two matches to try and up our performance, and try to have players on the pitch smiling and enjoying themselves while trying to express themselves as well.”