Galland's aim to make players as good as they can be

New Otago Rugby Football Union player development manager Paul Galland, at Moller Park this week. Photo: Peter McIntosh
New Otago Rugby Football Union player development manager Paul Galland, at Moller Park this week. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Paul Galland knows every player he comes across is not going to be an All Black.

But to him, getting that player to be as good as he can be - not just on the rugby field - is the goal in his new job.

Galland (33) started this week as the Otago Rugby Football Union's player development manager, replacing Tim Colling, who has moved on to a job outside rugby.

Galland originally comes from Hokitika but has spent the past 10 years overseas.

He spent time in the United Kingdom and Canada but has been living in Brisbane for the past few years, working as a athletics development officer in basketball and rugby at St Peter's Lutheran College.

Galland wanted to come back to New Zealand, though, and when the player development job came up, he jumped at the chance.

''I wanted to come home and really get my teeth into the rugby scene. Otago has a really proud history in the game. You want players to attain their goals, whether that is with Otago or with the Highlanders,'' he said.

''But we know not every player is going to go on and play professionally. For whatever reason that is not going to happen

''Rugby should not be the be all and end all for everyone. Sure, there will be players who will go on to play professionally but it is about getting well-balanced individuals.

''It is 100% critical that life outside rugby is good. We can't all be living in the rugby circle all the time. Other things are just as important. About family, values, having good morals. Making players good all-round individuals.''

Galland played rugby as an outside back when growing up and attending Westland High School.

He also dabbled in basketball.

He studied sports science specialising in strength and conditioning and rugby the University of Canterbury.

He is very keen to get under way in the job.

''I'm really looking forward to it. It's exciting, getting into a new place and putting my own spin on things. From the outside looking in, it [rugby in Otago] is strong. Young kids these days are pulled in so many different directions. But we have to do what is best for them, what their goals are.''

Coming from Australia, where rugby is run by what appeared very different agendas by various bodies, he said the centrally controlled structure in New Zealand had many advantages.

He is keen to make sure no Otago player gets lost to another union and then fill any holes from players outside the union.

Enjoyment was still the key to players, he said, and every player needed to be given opportunities to express themselves.

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