New Malone coach Jarrett Truscott could be calling on an old friend from Sydney to help take a few sessions at Gibson Park during the season.
Truscott will take over at Malone as head coach after Jacque Benade departed for Dubai during the close season.
Truscott a former coach of the Ulster U19’s and assistant at Instonians under former Ulster prop Clem Boyd is also coach of the Ulster Women’s team and played under Joe Barakat back in Australia.
“Joe actually coached me when I was a player,” revealed Truscott. “I was involved with some of the academy squads training and just through the coaching set ups I would have mixed paths with him and I’m looking forward to catching up when he arrives here and how he gets on at Ulster.
Malone were relegated last year but the new coaching structure know it is going to be a long term project not a short fix.
“It is not a case of Malone wanting to go straight back up and it is not a case of the club just wanting a head coach temporarily it was done with all the good intentions of building try to build a team and a squad and Malone as a whole and pushing back forward again.”
“I liked the squad and the longer term aspect of it, I didn’t want to come in here telling them I was going to win every game this season and go back up to Division One, you get relegated for a reason it doesn’t happen by chance it happens over a whole season, there are reasons why that happens and we have to look at that.”
“This only happened on Sunday afternoon so I have a lot to look at, I have players to learn and skill sets to learn and I have to look at footage of last year games to see what was going right and what was going wrong and see where we can improve.”
Truscott may also be able to call on Irish internationals Chris Henry and Robbie Diack from time to time to help out with the coaching.
Paddy Armstrong will be Truscott’s assistant and will have responsibility for the forwards.
Armstrong had a successful spell at Queen’s leading them to the Ulster Senior Cup with a victory over Ballynahinch in the final and also added the Dudley Cup before taking a year out of the game but feels the time is now right to come back.
“I was very impressed with what Jarrett and Malone were saying about what way they want to go as a club, Jarrett is going to bring a lot of energy to the post and I have my responsibilities in that and that allows my to focus on that,” said Armstrong.
“Jarrett is very up front about building a club and having good lines of communication so it was a good opportunity and something that interested me.”
“It is going to be a learning experience for me as well, it’s a challenge and I’m looking forward to that and working with the guys.”