Head of rugby James Brooks to leave North Walsham in summer
- Credit: Archant
North Walsham head of rugby James Brooks is to leave the club in the summer.
Brooks is moving up three tiers to join National League One Old Elthamians.
'Fundamentally I'm leaving for personal reasons,' he explained.
'Zoe and I had our first child last summer and we recently decided that ideally we wanted to be nearer our family and friends in the London area. Then this opportunity to further my career with an ambitious London club came up.'
The ex-Northampton Saints fly-half is a popular figure at Scottow and his two years have seen a growing confidence throughout the club and an upturn in fortunes on the field with the Vikings being more resilient, defensively stronger and better at taking their chances.
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In his first season they rose two places to fourth in London One North and, whilst this term with long-term injuries to key players results have been less consistent, they have put in plenty of good performances, and still hope for a top-six finish and expect to be competing at the top end of the table in 2018-19.
'Whoever takes over from me inherits a hard-working young squad that is keen to improve collectively,' said Brooks. 'Over the next few years, as they gain experience, this team will blossom.'
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Walsham's director of rugby, Al Hepburn, said: 'We are very sad at James' decision but fully understand his reasons.
'He has contributed a lot to the club and laid some strong foundations for his successor to build on.
'He goes with our very best wishes and we will watch the progress of his career with interest.'
Brooks joined Walsham in the summer of 2016, taking over from Nick Greenhall.
The recruitment process for Brooks' replacement has already begun with the new post holder expected to be in place when training for next season starts in July.
In the meantime the Vikings have a tough end to their season with league games against Old Priorians, Eton Manor and Colchester and the Norfolk Cup final against Norwich. Both Brooks and the players will be trying their hardest to end his time at Scottow with victories.