Skolars appoint new head coach

London Skolars have announced the appointment of Hammersmith-born James Massara as their new head coach.

Massara, 31, rejoins the club where he was assistant coach in 2006 and 2007, before moving on to Harlequins as assistant coach of their reserve side. He has spent 2009 as Head Coach of South London Storm.

Commenting on his appointment Massara said: “I am delighted to take over at a club that is very close to my heart. North London is a fantastic place to live and I have many good friends in the area from the last time I was here.

“There is so much potential coming out of London at the moment. London is an exciting place to be anyway, but for a rugby league person the future looks very good. I am excited to be part of that future with the Skolars. There has been a massive amount of hard work done at New River over the last few years and I’m really pleased to be part of that again”.

Massara takes over the reins in November after finishing his role as talent manager with RFL. “I have been at the RFL for 7 years and they have been fantastic to me in that time. I am sad to leave the RFL but excited by the challenge of coaching the Skolars.”

He faces a tough task after a season where Skolars have picked up the wooden spoon in Co-operative Championship 1. “Obviously the 2009 season has not gone as well as planned. The Oldham game shoed the potential there is in this is squad. We will have to have a good look at all aspects of the club to try to address the problems from this year.

I will obviously be looking for more depth to the squad for 2010. The changes to the super league reserve competition mean there are some high quality players who might become available to us. My challenge to the current squad is to look forward to the opportunity that more competition would bring.”

Skolars’ Managing Director Hector McNeil is delighted at the appointment. “James has a successful track record at working with youngsters in the capital and his experience working in London will be invaluable in maximising the talent that is here. Jermaine Coleman has done a fine job as acting coach over the last couple of months and we look forward to seeing him return as a player under James next season.”

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