We are pleased to introduce our Outlaws First XV Team Captain for the 2019/20 season: Dave Maule.
We asked Dave why he wanted to be captain and how he developed into the person he is today, leading the Outlaws for the up and coming season.
Read the full interview below...
Outlaws Six Shots
Time at Club – 5 Years
Catch Phrase – “Maule Ball”
Reason for Joining Outlaws- I wanted to play rugby but was not confident enough to turn up to a “mainstream” club for fear of not being good enough and being made to feel unwelcome because of that.
Impression at First Training Session - I was welcomed and valued from minute one. I felt part of the team already.
Vision for Team’s Future – I cannot wait to watch the players that are new to the club gain knowledge and confidence and watch them pass this to the next generation of newcomers. For the team’s success to become a vehicle for attracting more new players and imparting the values of the club onto them. We grow together.
Biggest Impact Another Player Has Had on You – Ross Lowe – if you want to see where hard work gets you then look to this guy. Watching him put the yards in at training and then seeing that hard work turn into performances on the pitch is what it’s all about. This guy is on his journey and it’s great to be a part of that.
What does being a Captain mean to you?
Captain of the Northampton Outlaws RFC, a title that, manages to evoke feelings of personal achievement and excitement yet also of humbleness and calculated calm.
To feel confident enough that you can put your name into the hat to be captain is one thing, to have that ambition realised is almost incomprehensible.
To me, in a nutshell, that’s what this team does. We give people the confidence to get from where they are to where they want to be.
What was your first ever training session like?
I remember arriving at my very first training session with visions of me making highlight reel tackles and scoring pivotal tries flashing in my mind but seeming so far off that they were likely unachievable and unfulfillable ambitions, twinned with the usual anxiety and fear that I was about to do something “new” and “scary” and that this session would likely be my last as I would be no good and people wouldn’t want me there.
How wrong could I have been. Despite not having any prior rugby experience I was amazed at how involved I was able to be in training. I certainly wasn’t throwing through the legs Brian O’Driscoll passes nor was I carving through defensive lines like Cobus Reinach. But I was doing it, I was playing rugby. I was learning, I was enjoying it and I was being encouraged and coached the whole time.
So why do you want to be captain?
Well, skip forward five years, throw in some huge on pitch and off pitch achievements and here we are. Captain of the Northampton Outlaws.
I’d say why not? Why wouldn’t I want to be responsible for ensuring that the journey that I have taken can be travelled by others. Why wouldn’t I want to help others attain the feeling of pure achievement as you get that pat on the back from your team mate after a game. Why wouldn’t I want to enable someone to receive that “yeah you got me” nod you get from your opposite number after you’ve stopped them with a perfect tackle. Why wouldn’t I want to be part of a system that can take someone that was cripplingly anxious at the thought of turning up to their first training session to someone that feels they can Captain the team. Why not?
So that’s why I’m here.
What happens now?
For me, the season ahead is focused around three aspects.
Firstly, I want us to continue to develop our training sessions. These are literally the foundation on which our successes are built, they are the shop window to our club that new players will see, and they are the platform that allows individuals to grow their confidence, their skillset and their love for the game.
We will work with individuals to ensure that areas of weakness are addressed so that no one walks onto that pitch lacking confidence in what they need to do. We will ensure our training sessions are relevant, valuable and inclusive.
We have a wealth of senior players in the team now including Kev Stokes and Bradly Collier who were both selected as Vice Captains which shows the level of respect and trust that we, as players, have in them. Simon Law brings a wealth of experience as our development team Captain with Scott Raven providing valuable support as his Vice Captain.
I urge you to utilise the knowledge of these players. They have played and delivered in the big games and they know what you need to gain from training to allow you to enjoy your time on the field. Training isn’t a competition it’s our time for learning so if you’ve got a question please ask it. If something isn’t quite clicking, then grab someone and ask them to show you again. We grow as a club together or we don’t grow at all.
Secondly, we continue our success within the IGR Southern League. Last season was a wake up call for us. Yes, we took that trophy home for another year but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Standards within the IGR league have improved hugely in the time I have been playing in it.
There are no easy games within this league. I’ll say that again because it’s an amazing league to be part of as it grows from one season to the next; there are no easy games within this league. We showed last season that we had the tenacity and the talent to win that league after perhaps approaching the season with a touch of complacency.
We owe this league more than that, it has helped propel the development of this club and its players and it will continue to do this for years to come.
This season we treat this league with the respect it deserves, we balance the development of our newer players as they make their league debuts whilst ensuring that the results are representative of the standard that the club can perform at.
I made my Northampton Outlaws debut within this league, I look back on the apprehension, excitement and nerves I felt as I lined up against Birmingham Bulls in October 2014 and I’m aware of how that feeling has changed in each game I have played to allow me to face the opposition with confidence, calmness and focus. This league can do that for any one of us, lets embrace it.
Thirdly, for this season is our entry into the Estrella Damm Merit League.
This is the product of nothing but pure hard work since the club’s inception. This is the result of building the depth of squad that can allow us to compete on a regular basis. This is the proof that what we have been doing at Northampton Outlaws is working and is worthwhile. This is huge. If you are part of the Northampton Outlaws community this season, then you are one of the lucky ones as you are watching the growth of a club and the laying of strong foundations in real time. You are part of a pivotal point in this club’s history.
In the future you can look back to this season as a turning point and you will know that you were there. You will know that you played in those games. You will know that you earnt the Outlaws shirt in those games.
You will know that you pushed each other in this season’s training sessions, and you welcomed those new players that in the future will be standing alongside you in games.
Excited? Me too. These games will test us, they will make us work harder than ever before at training to ensure we are competitive on the pitch. They will require commitment from each and every one of you to turn up and make a statement, but they will award you with a sense of achievement like no other. This season we are building the future of this club. I need you to buy into this with me. This is huge!
This season more than ever we show what Northampton Outlaws can do. This season we continue to embrace the core values of the club that have allowed me to go from never playing rugby to becoming First XV Team Captain. This club does far more for individuals than just allow “#rugbyforall” to take place and the growth that we guide individuals through within rugby will certainly be mirrored in their personal development outside of the game.