The GB Lions Under 19s Head Coach, Jason Henry, has stepped down from his role in the National Programme, per a statement from the GB Lions U19 Programme.
Henry was the programme’s first head coach since it was re-established in 2018, but with only two days until the squad head off to France for an international friendly, it seems the team will have to show great resilience and adaptability as they adjust to changes in the coaching staff. Offensive Coordinator Neale McMaster has stepped up as Acting Head Coach, leading the team both in their friendly against France, and also their IFAF European Championships qualifier against Norway later this year.
Per the statement shared with U19s players, parents and DblCoverage.com:
It is with great regret that we have to inform you that the BAFA GB Lions U19 Head Coach, Jason Henry, has stepped down from his role with immediate effect.
The U19 programme has an exciting series of games in the run-up to the Euros and we felt that a new strategic direction was required to maximise the chances of qualifying for the European Championships, and ultimately being successful at those Championships. Coach Henry has done an amazing job with the team to get them this far and will be missed.
BAFA would like to thank Coach Henry for all his work over the past 14 months and no doubt you will join us in wishing him well for the future.
We are pleased to confirm that the Offensive Coordinator Neale McMaster has agreed to add the role of Acting Head Coach to his responsibilities and he will lead the team into this friendly game and the EJC Qualifier with Norway.
Neale McMaster said:-
“I’m incredibly honoured to be named the HC of Team GB Lions U19 programme. I want to take this opportunity to thank Jason Henry for giving me the opportunity to be involved with the programme and for all his work over the past 2 years, we will very much be building on his foundation.
I’m unbelievably excited to get started as HC with the team this weekend in France, and more importantly, on the task of practising and getting in a position to beat Norway and qualify for Italy.”
We realise that the timing of this change is not ideal, in light of the upcoming game in France this weekend, but we have put actions in place to minimise any disruption to the team.
If you have any questions or concerns please raise those at an appropriate time on the trip to France or by email to any one of the individuals named below.
Any further communication from the team will come either from Clive Dobbin (Commission Lead), Verity Brawn (Team Manager) or Neale McMaster (Acting Head Coach)