Foote named Spirit coach

by Sam Phillips

Perth Spirit have named Kevin Foote as the man that will lead them through their 2017 NRC title defence.

Foote is the current skills coach of the Force and has been involved in NRC campaigns in years gone by, including a stint as co-head coach during the 2014 season, in which Perth were defeated by Brisbane City in the inaugural final.

Foote and his team of assistant coaches, which is headlined by Force attack coach Shaun Berne and forwards coach Joe Barakat, will use the NRC as a building block to the 2018 Super Rugby season.

The Spirit ended Brisbane City's reign in 2016. Photo: Getty Images"It’s an exciting opportunity for me but also for the club going forward,” Foote said.

“I enjoy the competition, it’s awesome. We are going to play a lot of our professional guys with some club players as well.”

While the season will be used as a means for blooding potential Super Rugby debutants, including some exciting Australian U20s talent, there is no doubt Foote intends to build a team capable of defending the title the Spirit claimed in 2016.

“We want to win without a doubt," he said.Can the Spirit go back to back in 2017? Photo: Getty Images"We will use the competition to build towards Super Rugby in 2018 and use it as an opportunity, but we want to win it all.

“From a coaching perspective, Joe (Barakat) and Shaun (Berne) working together again is a positive, with both working in the Super Rugby program and continuing through to NRC.

“We want to grow, we have done reviews as coaches and everyone wants to get better in their department.

“The player combinations are also important, the more everyone plays together the better the rugby we will play.”

The Spirit start their NRC campaign on Sunday, September 3, at McGillivray Oval, Perth, kicking off at 5pm AEST.