Toby Booth has no fears concerning his No. 2 now
May 14, 2010
Toby Booth admits that he could not have been more nervous the first time he coached Mike Catt.
Now the London Irish coach has the England legend as his full-time No.2.
And Booth has no fears that Catt will help him resurrect the Exiles’ fortunes following a disappointing season that had started with such promise.
Catt quit as a player after last Saturday’s 31-7 home defeat by Northampton Saints to concentrate on his other role as the club’s assistant coach.
And Booth revealed: “When Catty came (six years ago) I was still the Academy manager. To have an icon come to your club is always important and I have never told him that my first training session, when I was coaching him, was probably one of the most nervous ones of my life.”
It was an experience that Booth still remembers with pleasure, though, and he laughed: “To be his boss is even better.”
Booth is well aware how hard a decision it was for Catt to call time on his playing career, even at the age of 38, adding: “The first thing he said when he came off was ‘I want to keep playing’.”
“He is a pleasure to work with and he will be sorely missed from a playing point of view and certainly treasured for what he is going to do in the coaching arena.
“Catty is the first to admit that he has things to do from a coaching point of view, but, as he says, the pre-requisite of hard graft and hours put in means he will be a very successful coach – and of that I have no doubt.
“He conducts himself exactly as you see him. He is exactly the same with Academy boys as he is with a front-line player like Seilala Mapusua.
“Why it is very easy for us to work from a partnership point of view is because we have the same values on and off the pitch.”