It is a huge year for Ross Sutherland Rugby Club as it is their centenary and, as a result, it is a big honour for the three Kennedy brothers to be coaching the men’s senior team together.
David, Murray and Ali Kennedy have all been involved with the Invergordon outfit since their youth so when they were given the opportunity to work together as a coaching unit during 2023-24 they grabbed it with both – or all six – hands.
“The three of us have often talked about coaching together and giving back to the club that has given us so much over the years,” David, 39, said.
Ross Sutherland Rugby Club ‘has always been a community club’
“We all have young families now, so it was just a case of when the time might be right and, thankfully, a few months ago the time was right and we have really enjoyed it so far.
“It is such an exciting time for the club because the new clubhouse is up and running and looks great and with it being the centenary there are a number of events planned in the next few months.
“We have a great bunch of players to work with and there is a good buzz about the place. Ross Sutherland has always been a community club and we want to help that continue going forward.”
All three of the brothers played when Ross Sutherland defeated Wigtownshire 12-3 to win the National Bowl final at Murrayfield back in 2017-18 while Ali still plays for the Invergordon-based team.
Murray, 38, said: “That was a brilliant day for the club and we are keen to try and bring more good times in the coming season.
“Sometimes at our level of rugby when there is a head coach they can end up taking on too many jobs themselves, but by working as a three we hope that we can cover most bases and help each other out as we go along.
“Having Ali on the pitch during games will also be handy because he will have a different perspective on things while the senior players are also really helpful in that regard.
“If the three of us and those senior players can work closely together to drive things forward and help the youngsters coming through then there is no reason why we cannot have a successful season.
“And it is really nice to be taking this step into coaching with my brothers, we are often talking about rugby at family gatherings and such like anyway, so this seemed a natural move for us.”
A perfect start
Thirty-four-year-old Ali added: “We want to try and bring winning ways back to the club because we have a lovely new clubhouse now and we want people to be heading in there after matches having been entertained.
“The club means so much to three of us and our wider family, so to be able to have this opportunity to coach alongside David and Murray is really exciting for me.
“We all bring different ideas to the table and that is good because it means we can have good discussions around the best way for the team to play while the key is enjoyment.
“The three of us want to enjoy it, we want the players to all enjoy it and we all want to feel part of something together.”
The trio’s coaching link up got off to the perfect start on Saturday when the team secured a resounding 80-21 victory over Caithness on home turf in their Caledonia North Two season opener.
And club chairman John Scott said: “We are very happy that the Kennedy brothers have taken this opportunity to coach our senior team.”
Next up for Ross Sutherland is another home match against Highland’s third XV this coming Saturday.