Plymouth Albion expect to announce first new signing for next season in next few days
PLYMOUTH Albion are expected to announce their first new signing for the 2013/14 season in the next few days, despite having not yet appointed a director of rugby.
The Championship club insist that just because they are in talks with players about signing for next season, it does not mean they have already offered the head coach's job to anyone.
They say any director of rugby will have to work with the players already at the club.
Back-row forwards Sean-Michael Stephen and Herbie Stupple signed new contracts with the club in November, while fitness and conditioning coach James Owen has recently committed his future to Albion.
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"If we leave everything to the last minute then we will get the raw pickings," said Albion's acting CEO Debbie Fisher.
"We have already got some players signed. Anyone coming in will have to accept that those commitments have already been made.
"When we do interview, we will say to them that a number of players are committed and a number of players are in discussions.
"If we can get someone in time, then they can finish the rest of it and have some input on those last positions."
Fisher did admit that not having a director of rugby in place for next season is making contract discussions with the current squad tough.
"Yes, it is very difficult and the players have been very unsettled by the announcement last weekend," she said.
"We have had meetings with players and assured them the process will go ahead as quickly as possible.
"On the positive side we have got some continuity – (team manager) Simon (Hicklin) is there and (fitness coach) James Owen is there – and the players are realists."
Fisher did confirm only Stephen and Stupple have so far committed to next season from the current squad.
"The rest are in discussions, there is nothing else concrete, but there's lots of talking going on," said Fisher.
Fisher said coaches Nat Saumi and John Roberts had given their opinions on who should be offered new contracts.
She said: "In terms of the young, development players then between the current coaching staff we probably have an idea who is worth a punt for next year."