With growth in playing numbers as high as at Hillfoots (did you know we are the fastest growing rugby club in Scotland for 2 years running?), the Club has had to recruit, maintain and develop an appropriate body of committed, capable and qualified coaches.  In addition to the coaching team, who are all volunteers, we have great support from our Development Officer JP Ward, as well as our team of Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) volunteers from local schools.

Duke of Edinburgh volunteer coaching assistants

Hillfoots has a strong club culture & set of values.  These are written into a Coaching Handbook which we refer to as – “The Hillfoots Way”.  All new coaches are formally inducted into the Club, given an existing Coach as a mentor and are expected to follow the Club standards at all times.

We aim to have as many of our coaches as possible qualified in rugby coaching to a minimum of UKCC Level 1.  All of our team are “IRB – Rugby Ready” each year and a number have attended courses in First Aid, pitch side trauma managment and refereeing.  All of the coaching team who work with minors have attended an appropriate annual course in child protection and are compliance checked.

Additionally, some of our coaches are qualified as Coach Educators so that the Club is able to deliver Rugby Ready training on site at Hillfoots.  We also have 5 coaches who are qualified rugby referees to make sure that all our games are safe, equitable & played within the spirit & laws of the game!

Adult Section Coaches

1st XV

Iain Nicolson – Head Coach

Iain is a 1st XV player (scrum half, wing or full back) as well as our respected Head Coach for the 2012/13 season.  He returns after a year away from the top job due to work commitments.  Iain is part way through his UKCC Level 3 Coaching qualification.

Kevin Manson


Kevin (aged 50), lives in Tillicoultry and was the Head Coach for Hillfoots 1st XV last season in Iain’s absence.  he will be assisting Iain for the 2012/13 season.  Kevin is qualified to UKCC Level 1, over the years Kevin has coached all age groups of the club from P4 up to U18.  He also coached the Clackmannanshire Colts U18 team.  Kevin joined Hillfoots in 1977 and he has never left!  In his youth he was part of the Hillfoots team that won the first U16 Scottish cup (now The Brewin Dolphin Schools cup) in 1977.  He played a couple of times for the Midlands District and also for the Edinburgh Borderers.  Kevin has 2 sons, Craig and Gregor, both of whom play for Hillfoots 1st XV.  Craig is also 1st XV team manager.

Neil Davies


  2nd XV

 Alan Aaron


A club legend & former player as well as former Club President, Alan takes care of his beloved 2nd XV.  No job is too small for Alan. 

Cast Tups

Norrie Edgar (Forwards), Norrie Rolland (Backs) & Eddie Inglis (Drinks)


 It’s a big job, so it takes 3 big guys to do it!

Junior Section Coaches

Coaching Coordinator – Mike Robins

Strength & Conditioning Coach – John Higgins







Bryan Conlan




Bryan plays for the Cast Tups & sometimes 2nd XV, given his pace & skills.  This year (2012/13), he is coaching the backs in the U18’s squad.

Jim (Muff) Scobbie


Local farmer Muff is alledgedly a famous former Scotland Internationalist who shows our U18’s a thing or two about rugby, especially the front row!

Colin Wright


Colin (age 43) lives in Sauchie, Clackmannanshire and is a UKCC Level 1 coach.  Colin was awarded the Clackmannanshire Council ‘Enid Barton’ coach of the year award in 2011 and started his coaching career at Hillfoots about 10+ years ago when his son Jordan (U18’s) started playing at the tender age of 5(P1) and has coached up through the age grades from P1 now finally as an U18’s coach. 

Colin played rugby for arch rivals Alloa RFC from age 5-17 and also for Lornshill Academy during his secondry education.  There were a couple of years down time due to work commitments but he returned to Alloa aged 22 for a couple of seasons before moving to the heady height of Division 2 and Grangemouth RFC.  He had several enjoyable seasons at Grangemouth before his body gave up the ghost and injury forced retirement.

He has had a couple of turn outs for the Cast-Ups but previous war wounds quickly put paid to that folly.


John Higgins


Murray McKenzie



JP Ward

Mike Power

Mike lives in Dollar, Clackmannanshire.  Although busy as Junior Convenor, Club Treasurer, chief cook & bottle washer, Mike (aged 48) can’t resist turning out every Sunday to watch the coaches of the Junior Section in action.  Mike is a qualified rugby coach to UKCC Level 2 & Level 1 Referee and loves to give his son Rory (S1) the odd tip – on & off the field!  Mike’s own playing career started late and has continued with the Hillfoots Cast Tups (on the left wing), even later.  Currently serving oranges on the touch line as a consequence of a vicious foot injury, he hopes to be back playing gently again this coming season.

Fred Smith


Andy Peterson


As well as a S1/S2 coach, Andy is a qualified rugby referee.  He now lives in Dollar, Clackmannanshire, but his rugby career started at Grangemouth minis where he was coached by Jack Robertson (an outstanding coach who taught superbly the basic skills to genereations of boys & girls at Grangemeouth).  Andy initially played rugby at school and at University in Glasgow.  He then played in England, the USA, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and South Africa!  Sadly Andy’s last game as a player was 4 years ago when aged 41, he snapped an achilles tendon (ouch!).  He has however stretched his legs once or twice in the last two seasons for the Cast Tups and his lifelong involvement with rugby now continues as a coach and a referee as well as suporting both his boys who play at Hillfoots and love every minute of it!

Paddy (David) Sherrard

Paddy (aged 41) lives in Alva, Clackmannanshire and has 2 boys playing at the club – Huw (S1) & Niall (P4).  Paddy first coached the minis in 2005 when we only had about 20 players and having returned to Alva after a few years away has been delighted at the growth of the Club.  He is a UKCC Level 1 qualified rugby coach who has coached P6-P7 at Hillfoots for the last 2 seasons.  Paddy has played rugby since his youth in Ireland and on joining the Army has played at Regimental level.  He has hung up his rugby playing boots and is now a ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ refereeing for the SRU, Army and Combined Services.  He is an avid Ulster and Ireland rugby supporter and looks forward to seeing our youth playing for Scotland against his kids playing for Ireland!



Stewart MacLean

Stewart (aged only 37) coaches the P7 age group.  He lives in Dollar and there isn’t a drier sense of humour on the Hillfoots playing field.  Sometimes, he trips up the other coaches and then just laughs at them.   Stewart played scrum half through school and University, as well as for London Scottish B’s.  He then had a gap until he turned 35 and makes occassional appearances for the Cast Tups, although he’s only just old enough to do so.  Stewart’s son Bob (P7) & daughter Catrin (P4) play for Hillfoots.  Bob is not only very fast, but also jointly holds the Midi record for the Beep Test.  Stewart holds the coaches record for the Beep Test – it must run in the family! 

Alan Douglas

 Alan (aged 40 something) lives in Dollar, Clackmannanshire and has 3 children playing at the club, Darwin (S2), Toby (P7) and Cecily (P4).  Alan is a UKCC Level 1 qualified rugby coach who has coached P4-P5 at Hillfoots over the last 3 years.  Alan played rugby at school and University and still turns out for the Hillfoots’ Cast Tups now and again; loitering somewhere near the second row.  In 2012/13 Alan assists the P7 age group.

Iain Johnston

Amongst the Hillfoots coaches, it was Iain (aged 44) who first read Matthew Syed’s book – Bounce.  Iain was already the architect of some of the most exciting and inclusive Tag Tiger coaching that could be imagined.  With “Bounce” under his belt, he set about espousing the ethos of Positive Coaching, before anyone else at Hillfoots even knew what it meant.  He set the Junior Section of Hillfoots on the path that would eventually lead to our mission statement of “everybody plays”, and subsequently to our accreditation in December 2011, by the partnership of Positive Coaching Scotland & The Bill McLaren Foundation.

Iain, who lives in Dollar, has a son Finlay (P7) & 2 daughters Ellie (P4) & Zuzu (P1) who play for Hillfoots, as indeed does Iain – as No.8 in the Cast Tups.  He has the West of Scotland and the British Army as former teams who have benefitted from his playing prowess.

Cameron Smith

Cameron joined the club last year along with Euan, his son, who plays for the P6’s.   Cameron, originally from East Lothian, is 40 and played his rugby at centre and wing for Preston Lodge Rugby Club.  He has coached the S2’s at Dollar Academy for the last 10 or so years, including now fellow Hillfoots coach & Club RDO, John Patrick Ward.  Cameron is qualified as a rugby coach to UKCC level 2 and really enjoying helping the P4 – P5 groups on Sunday mornings last season.  In 2012/13 Cameron is coaching the P6 age group.


Mike Robins

Mike (aged 44) lives in Dollar, Clackmannanshire and has 2 sons & a daughter playing at the club – Daniel (P7), Charlie (P5) & Freya (P1).  Mike is a UKCC Level 2 qualified rugby coach & Level 1 Referee who has coached P4-P5 & P6-P7 at Hillfoots over the last 3 years.  In addition he was assistant U18’s coach for half of the 2010/11 season.  Mike’s school boy rugby playing career ended aged 16, but he did turn out once for the Hillfoots Cast Tups as left wing (replacing an injured Mike Power) for some of a game in May 2010, scoring a try (blimey! – how did that happen?), but later sustained a bruise to his rib cage which appears, so far at least, to have ended his playing days once again!

 Bob McKillop




Bob lives in Dollar, Clackmannanshire.  As a former Heriots RFC 1st XV coach, Bob brings an extraordinary amount of rugby & coaching experience to the P5 year group, where his son Matthew plays. 

Jody Mills

Jody, 41 living in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire joined the club in 2009.  He has two children Ellee (P6) and Joshua (P4). He has completed the IRB rugby ready course and hopes to complete the UKCC Level 1 this season.  He has had the pleasure of coaching and getting to know the P4/P5 squads last season, and now focuses primarily on the P5 squad.  As a Lancashire lad, played rugby league until switching codes when he went to Stirling University where he played there – the social element being the primary factor!  Trained with the Cast Ups (known as Julie) until his ‘chocolate knees’ gave in, and four operations ensued – apparently will return against medical advice

Campbell Calder


Campbell (aged 44) lives in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire and has 2 boys playing at the club – Jack (P4) & Ciaran (P2).  Campbell has been a member of Hillfoots since 1974, where he first went along with his family to support the club.  His father Jimmy was a long standing Junior coach with the club and a former life member.  Campbell attained an equivalent qualification to the current UKCC Level 1 in 2000 but hopes to achieve UKCC Level 1 this year (2012).  Campbell has coached U16, P6-P7 and currently coaches P4 at Hillfoots.
Campbell played school boy rugby throughout secondary school, at the same time as turning out at all junior age group levels for Hillfoots.  Campbell has played in all the Adult teams for Hillfoots over the years and has been priviledged to be part of previous Hillfoots 1st XV squads that have won promotion in the National Leagues.  Campbell also spent a season playing for Hillhead/Jordanhill in Glasgow when they were in the old Scottish divison 2 in season 1988/89.  Campbell still regularly turns out for the club’s 2nd XV as well the club’s social side, the Cast Tups.


Tony Beverage

Tony (aged 44) who lives in Dollar, Clackmannshire is one of our totally inspirational Tag Tigers coaches.  He also takes the lead on First Aid amongst the Junior Section coaches.  His son Joseph (P6) plays at Hillfoots.

He has completed the Rugby Ready Coaching Course and attended several PCS Workshops and an SRU Development course. He is also an SFA qualified Football Coach and a former Territorial Army Physical Training Instructor.  Tony has coached the P1-3 ‘Tigers’ for the last two seasons.  His career as a player was cut short in his late 20’s after a broken nose and broken collar bone persuaded him to retire.  The fact that these injuries occurred during the first and second games of rugby he’d ever played, has not dampened his enthusiasm for the game!

Colin Merchison 

Colin (aged 39) lives in Dollar, Clackmananshire.  Colin is another of our totally inspirational Tag Tiger coaches.  Although originaly a convert from soccer, Colin now loves to play with funny shaped balls.  His sons Jack (P5) & Calum (P1) play for Hillfoots. 

Barry Mackie

Barry (aged 33) lives in Tillicoultry with his family, Nicola and 2 kids, Aimee 9 yrs and Shaun 8 yrs. Their son Shaun (P3) has been playing at the club since November 2010.  Barry is a UKCC Level 1 qualified rugby coach who has coached P1-3 tigers at Hillfoots since he joined around the same time as Shaun. Prior to this he had no rugby or coaching experience but is enjoying the experience and learning a lot.
Alan Kinloch

Alan (aged 43) lives in Solsgirth a couple of miles South of Dollar and is one of our new Tag Tigers coaches.  A mad rugby fan, he was hooked on rugby when sharing a house with a Wasps player in London and was given an insight into what really goes on in a scrum and proper dinking games.  He met his (English) wife Claire in 1996 when Scotland were thrashed by England and Alan leapt onto the bar counter in South London and raised his kilt to the gathered masses in an act of Celtic defiance.

His son Conan (P4) accompanied Alan to his first Scotland international at just 18 months old and so far Conan & Dad have been to 16 Scotland internationals together.

He has completed the Rugby Ready Coaching Course and plans to progress further. His rugby career as a player was cut short in his mid teens when he discovered girls and realised he was pretty rubbish anyway! 

Oliver Milling Smith