The Solent Thrashers are sad to announce the retirement of their Defensive Co-ordinator Graham Jessett.
Coach Jessett has been around the Britball scene for a number of years and has previously partnered Head Coach Steve Rains in Championship winning seasons - including of course the 2019 National Division 1 Championship victory.
Coach Rains said "We are extremely sorry to lose Graham but reluctantly have to accept his decision - we operate at all times on the philosophy of the priorities of Family - Work - Football - it applies equally to all of us.
Coach Jessett and I have been friends a long time and coaching partners on more than one occasion, all of those times have resulted in success and a lot of fun. We also recently discovered we are distantly related sharing a Grandfather - being older than Graham it is one less Great before the Grandfather for me than for him - so maybe that explains why we get along so well together.
Not only therefore is he Thrasher Family to me - but also an actual cousin and so it is with sadness I have accepted his resignation as our Defensive Co-ordinator
He is very modest and I can assure you he will be missed - but I am also delighted that in Coach Simon Srour we have an extremely capable replacement. Simon will make his own mark in the role but having worked previously with Coach Jessett and me I know he will also provide a sufficient level of continuity to allow us to move forward smoothly into our first Premier Division season - whenever that comes."
Coach Jessett made the following statement:
"Work commitments has meant that I have had to make the tough decision to step down from coaching. Announcing this decision now will give the organisation plenty of time to plan for the next season. It has been an absolute honour working with Steve once again and being part of the Solent Thrashers family for the past three years. So many great memories, not least earning a seat at the top table by getting to the Division 1 final and then to top that, winning the crown in London last August. The Solent Thrashers playing staff have been an absolute pleasure to coach and I hope that in my own small way I have made them better players. The committee is second to none and to all the players, coaches and player coaches I have worked with since 2017, a big thank you for embracing my Defensive philosophy and in turn for teaching me a few things along the way. 2021 will be no less exciting for the team and I would like to wish my successor Coach Simon Srour all the best – I’ve known Simon a long time including coaching him in the 90’s winning the Youth Bowl before Simon went on to repeating that feat as their Head Coach. Having Simon around last year was one of the differences on Defense that saw us go unbeaten. His winning mentality and enthusiasm can only drive the team forward and with the support of the brilliant existing sideline staff the team will be absolutely fine without me."
The Thrashers offer a huge thanks to Coach Jessett and an equally huge welcome to Coach Srour in his new role. The team will now be on the lookout for some Defensive Positional coaching candidates to backfill the support team.
Club Chairman Paddy Tickner concluded "Graham has been a huge part of the journey we undertook to get the Thrashers into the top tier - we cannot thank him enough. we wish him well in retirement but hope he will not be a stranger and that we will see him again soon as a supporter. We are all delighted that Coach Simon Srour is stepping up to fill the gap and we look forward to continuing the Thrashers progress with him as our new DC"
With Graham on the coaching staff the Thrashers have reached the play-off each of the three seasons he has spent with the club, with a seriously impressive record. 25-5 in the regular season and 4-2 in the play-offs.