Musselburgh’s Walls looks to build foundations for the future

March’s RBS Club Volunteer of the Month is Robert Walls team manager and coach of Musselburgh 2XV.

He said: “When I first got the phone call to tell me that I had been voted as RBS Club Volunteer of the Month, I laughed in surprise.

“It’s a great honour, not just for me as an individual, but as a club to receive the award.

“I don’t do it for the accolades, I do it for the love of the game and to see boys develop, but it’s always nice to be recognised."

Walls, 51, started playing prop for Musselburgh at the age of 20 after changing code from rugby league.

Walls is at the heart of the team’s training every Tuesday and Thursday, not only assisting with the whole squad session, yet offering his experience in the front-row through one-to-one sessions in a bid to encourage personal development in the players.

He continued: “I always like to try and give players a bit of confidence, especially the young boys coming through from the Colts and into the senior side.

“As a front-row, I know how hard a task it can be to step up against more experienced guys at the set-piece, so I look to take young props under my wing and make sure that they are confident in their ability.

“It’s always great to see local lads breaking into the senior sides, that’s why I’m always willing to lend a helping hand.”

In addition to his coaching role with the 2XV, he also doubles up as team manager and, if needs be, a player.

Walls said: “I spend a lot of my time organising the 2XV, making sure everyone has transport to the game, and making sure that we have a full squad.

“If we’re short of numbers, I pick up the phone and ring everyone I can possibly think of to make sure we field a team – I’ve even been known to drag boys out of retirement to play for Musselburgh.

“I’m not scared to put on my boots either, if the team needs me to play, I’ll play.”

Walls believes greatly in a one squad ethos for the club, and is always looking for ways to make the 2XV feel part of the greater outfit.

He concluded: “I’m old school, and love to see boys playing for the badge and earning the right to wear the shirt.

“I make the point of handing everyone their strip individually and giving them a positive word of encouragement before the game.

“A couple of days after we play, I’ll phone the boys to tell them what I believe all went right for them during the game, as well as giving them a few additional pointers for their self-development.”

In winning the award, Robert will be presented with a trophy and a table of ten for the annual Scottish Rugby Club Awards dinner on Friday 30 May, at Murrayfield.