Gary Gold has given his first interview to Falcons TV following his appointment as the club’s new director of rugby.
Gold, who moves to Tyneside on the back of four successful years as assistant coach at South Africa was unveiled to the media at a press conference today before taking timeout to talk to Falcons TV.
Revealing that it was the ambitious plans of Falcons owner Semore Kurdi which enticed him to Kingston Park, Gold said: “I have been very impressed with Semore’s vision and that is why I chose to join Newcastle at this stage.
“Many people have asked me why I have made the decision to come here when the club is in the situation that it is in, but after spending some time with Semore I could see his vision for the people of the North East and Cumbria.
“He has got an unbelievably great vision for the club and his heart is in the right place. It is going to be a tough season and we know that – we are nine points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership and it is certainly a tough deficit to come back from but we are going to give it our best shot.
“There is genuinely a long-term future for this club and you have seen other clubs come back from difficult positions before because they have had great leadership and that is where the Falcons are with Semore at the moment.”
Jetting into Newcastle on Tuesday, Gold admits he has been impressed with the set-up at Kingston Park, saying: “The set-up here is very professional and it is an impressive place to work. I have been here for just over a day and it has been pretty good so far.
“I have had to acclimatise to the North East weather but otherwise it has been good to meet the players and spend some time with the management team.”
Gold boasts vast Super 14 and Premiership experience having being head coach at London Irish and Western Province respectively.
And his former club Irish will be the opposition for his first Aviva Premiership game in charge on February 18 following a string of cup games.
The northeasterners wrap up their European campaign this weekend with a trip to Lyon before back-to-back LV= Cup matches against Sale Sharks and Leicester Tigers.
“The length of the season in England makes it really tough on the body,” said Gold who was part of the Springboks set-up which won the tri-nations as well as the British and Irish Lions series in 2009.
He added: “Teams do not only play each other in the league but also in other competitions too so it is incredibly hard work week in week out.
“I think there is not a big gap between the top teams and the bottom teams in terms of quality and anybody can beat anyone on their day.
“That is what makes this competition so fiercely difficult and the margin for error is so small – if you make a mistake you are punished for it.”
Gold is joined at Kingston Park by former England defence coach Mike Ford who will look to tighten-up the Falcons rearguard on his arrival.
“Mike is a world-class defensive coach and England’s defence was one of the best in the World Cup,” Gold said of Ford who spent five years at Twickenham.
“He has got a wealth of knowledge and he is highly respected. I really value him as a defensive specialist and his presence is something that will make a significant difference to the boys in a short period of time,” added Gold.
Paul Moriarty will take charge of this weekend’s Amlin Challenge Cup game in France with Gold observing proceedings from afar.
Ford will join Gold on Monday and the talented coach who worked under Peter de Villiers at the Springboks admits that he is relishing the challenge of leading the North East’s premier rugby club.
He said: “To get involved with a club in a spot of bother is an exciting challenge. Some people might say that there is no pressure on me because of the situation but I put a lot of pressure on myself and I pride myself on working with this group of guys.
“They are a great bunch of guys and we have some talented players here at the moment – I really believe that we can start seeing some improvements on the field.”
Tickets are available for the next home game against Sale Sharks in the LV= Cup on Sunday 29 January (kick-off 3.30pm) by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online. .
Click here to view our gallery of photos from today’s press conference.