Alan Kilshaw’s recruitment policy since taking over as head coach of Rochdale Hornets hasn’t focused solely on playing staff, as he has also put a lot of thought and effort into the make-up of his backroom staff.
As well as retaining Dave Ramsbottom as an assistant coach he has appointed Jason Viller and Paul Berry alongside Rammy, with Ryan Gibney also coming in as a conditioner. Now Kilshaw feels that he has the final piece in the puzzle with the addition of analyst Steve Wordsworth.
Steve’s job will be to inform coaching staff of live stats during games and to assist Alan with post and pre game analysis, including individual and team video stats. He will also attend training sessions where his video analysis will enable coaches perform a review of the session both during and afterwards.
“Steve is the last piece of the jigsaw,” commented Killer,” and he has already had a huge contribution.
“He will be a valuable asset to the coaching team.”
The two had previously worked together in Kilshaw’s days as a coach at amateur side Warrington Wizards, and when asked Steve was keen to link up with him again.
“I’ve done it in football before,” Steve explained. “When I played semi-professional I did some player performance work for a few North West Counties football teams.
“Then I worked with Alan at Warrington Wizards, doing some analyst work and covering player performance again and then he asked me to get involved at Rochdale and I jumped at the chance.”
“It’s always been something I have been interested in. I worked in financial services for years and I have always got into the detail of how analysts use information, statistics and databases.
“I’ve always loved sport, so to be able to have a day job in sport is ace.”
With the club aiming to be as professional as possible in a semi-professional environment his appointment has reinforced Alan’s plans to do just that.
That has also passed down to Steve and he is impressed with the players and coaching staff already, and is happy to be within the Rochdale Hornets environment.
“It’s great, just being around the club and seeing how professional they are is really good,” he continued.
“The facilities and the attitude of the players and coaching staff have been great and it’s good to get involved and be part of a team.
“Like I said, when he offered me the chance to get involved I jumped at it. I had seen the work Alan had been doing in Australia and how he was developing teams, and I thought this is something I want to be a part of.
“The training facilities at Warrington are brilliant, Spotland is an amazing ground for the club and just being part of that on a day to day basis is excellent for me.”
During a game he will make a note of the percentage of sets completed, good yardage in their own half, penalty counts and he will also look for times when Hornets’ are in good field position attacking.
All of this and more will be fed to the staff on the touchline and Alan in the stands, but it will also go into the video review session on a Tuesday.
Steve feels that it is vital that the players are receiving this information and it will aid their development throughout the season, as well as creating a competitive environment within the group.
“I think it is extremely important; the players need this kind of feedback. All the information from the game on a Sunday goes into a video session on the Tuesday and all the players get individual feedback from the coaches.
“All of my statistics go onto a live sharing platform for all the players to view too. It is good for their development and they can compare themselves against each other as well so it gives them targets and aims for the season.”